Like many diseases, drug addiction affects sufferers on a biological level. The drugs consumed change the body's chemical reactions and biological processes, causing serious side effects such as intense withdrawal symptoms when a people cease taking the substances. This can make it difficult for people to quit doing drugs. However, researchers have developed a medication that may cure people of their addictions. Here's more information about this product.
Relapse is the Biggest Threat to Sobriety
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 40 and 60 percent of people who stop doing drugs relapse back into their addictions. There are a number of reasons why this occurs and research into the issue indicates that habitation may be one of those reasons why people who have achieved sobriety will suddenly begin using again.
The experiment by Ivan Pavlov is, perhaps, the best example of this phenomenon. During his experiment, Pavlov would ring bell each time he gave the dogs a meat powder. After awhile, the dogs would begin salivating each time they heard the bell, regardless of whether or not they were being fed.
Similarly, when people do drugs, they often engage in a pattern of behavior that supports the addiction. They associate with certain people, use certain tools and even consume the drugs in certain locations. This often leads them to become unconsciously conditioned to crave drugs when those circumstances present themselves again. For example, a person may desire to inject heroine when the individual goes to a home where he or she used to do the drugs.
This is one of the main reasons why drug rehabilitation experts recommend recovering addicts avoid contact with people and places associated with their drug use.
A Drug to Cure Drug Addiction?
Use of medication to defeat drug addiction is not new. Methadone is currently used to help people overcome their addiction to opiates such as heroine. However, these medicines generally focus on mitigating the effects of withdrawal symptoms so people can safely stop using the illicit drugs.
A new substance, called 18-methoxycoronaridine (or 18-MC), targets the person's desire to do the drugs, which can both help people stop using them and reduce their risk of relapsing. In laboratory experiments, mice who had become addicted to cocaine lost interest in consuming the substance after being given a few doses of 18-MC. This new medicine also appears to work on mice that had become addicted to nicotine, alcohol, morphine and sugar.
By targeting a person's desire to do drugs, the medication can help people kick their addictions for good and avoid potentially dangerous and demoralizing relapses. Unfortunately, the drug is a long way away from becoming a standard of treatment for drug addicts.
The researchers are still trying to determine exactly how much 18-MC humans must consume to duplicate the results seen in animal tests. Additionally, the drug is related to another substance that causes serious side effects such as hallucinations and nausea, though human test subjects who have used 18-MC have not yet experienced these issues.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations also may impede the drug's progress to the pharmaceutical counter nearest you. The administration requires anti-addiction medications to 100-percent abstinence in people who use cocaine during clinical trials, which may be difficult for 18-MC to accomplish.
Still, the drug can potentially help thousands of people overcome addictions to a wide variety of substances. Until it hits the market, however, one of the best ways of achieving long-term sobriety is by enrolling and participating in a drug treatment program. If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to drugs, it's a good idea to talk to a drug rehabilitation specialist for assistance with achieving a drug-free life.