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Unread 11-06-2009, 12:14 PM   #1
NancyB
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Default Grant awarded for research into a new treatment for methamphetamine addiction

http://www.news-medical.net/news/200...addiction.aspx

Grant awarded for research into a new treatment for methamphetamine addiction

6. November 2009 03:12

Dr. Keith Flower - a research physician at the Addiction Pharmacology & Research Laboratory in San Francisco, CA - has been awarded a grant to investigate a new medication treatment for methamphetamine addiction. This grant has been awarded to California Pacific Medical Center's Research Institute through President Obama's AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009.

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that goes by the street names of crank, crystal meth, and speed. It can cause heart disease, brain damage, memory problems, distorted thinking, paranoia, aggression, and violent behavior. Methamphetamine use puts people at increased risk for infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

Methamphetamine abuse continues at epidemic levels in the San Francisco Bay Area. It costs the U.S. more than $20 billion each year and presents significant challenges to public health, law enforcement, and families. The National Institutes of Health - working with research labs like the Addiction Pharmacology & Research Laboratory - is urgently seeking improved treatments for this growing problem.

One of the emerging medications for treating methamphetamine addiction is naltrexone, an FDA-approved treatment for heroin and alcohol dependence. Dr. Flower's goal is to learn whether naltrexone is safe and effective as a treatment for methamphetamine addiction.

Genetic research has given rise to the hope of personalized medicine - the idea that each person's genes can reveal the best treatment for them. Naltrexone may be one of the first examples of this approach. Naltrexone works by blocking opiate receptors in the brain. Blocking opiate receptors blocks craving. There are different genetic versions of these receptors. Two versions are A118A and A118G. Alcoholics who have the A118G version are helped more by naltrexone; so might methamphetamine users.

Dr. Flower explains, "We know that methamphetamine exerts powerful effects on the brain's reward pathways. Although methamphetamine can feel good when people start using it, they may lose control and begin a downward spiral that they cannot be able to pull out of without help. Counseling works but is sometimes not enough, so we look for medications that will break this cycle."

"Naltrexone decreases the pleasurable, rewarding effects of alcohol. We know that alcoholics with the A118G version of the opiate receptor are helped more by naltrexone, and we also know that naltrexone blocks the effects of amphetamine and helps amphetamine users quit. Our goal is to put these facts together to see if naltrexone will help methamphetamine users who have the A118G version of the opiate receptor."

SOURCE California Pacific Medical Center
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Unread 11-09-2009, 09:25 PM   #2
CarlyO
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Thank you Nancy !
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Unread 07-11-2010, 02:02 AM   #3
vhappy
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Nancy nice to see you over here, as I know you have great accurate info.

My son was having financial problems and almost lost his job last week. MY husband and did a bit of a intervention on him after we heard he was doing oxy's with his new roomate. Now it appears he may have als been doing meth. I am so worried!!!

I know nothing about meth, and have been reading here today. I was wondering about Naltrexone, can any doctor perscribe, or is it restricted like suboxone?

Just want to have all my "tools" ready just in case........

vhappy
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Unread 07-11-2010, 07:57 AM   #4
NancyB
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Hi vhappy, I'm so sorry to hear that your son's having problems, but glad that he opened up to your husband. Do you know if the meth misuse is on a regular basis? Is he ready to get help?

Because naltrexone doesn't fall in the controlled substances category, any physician can prescribe it. If he's thinking about Suboxone for the Oxy, then he cannot take naltrexone at the same time as it would most likely cause precipitated withdrawals.

But there are other medications being used for meth addiction - none currently FDA approved for it, but either used off-label (as naltrexone would be for it) or are in clinical trials. Some of those are bupropion (brandname Wellbutrin); modafinil (brandname Provigil); citicoline (which is an OTC supplement); aripiprazole (brandname Abilify - anti-depressant); methylphenidate (brandname Concerta, Ritalin - for ADD); acamprosate (brandname Campral - used for alcohol dependence); varenicline (brandname Chantix).

I found those by checking the Clinical Trials website:
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/result...ethamphetamine

Here's some more information on methamphetamine:
http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugpages/methamphetamine.html
http://www.drugabuse.gov/Infofacts/methamphetamine.html

This is a pretty graphic illustration of what meth can do to a person physically, maybe he ought to see it:
http://www.drugfree.org/portal/drugi...ces/index.html

About treatment using CBT:
http://www.hbo.com/addiction/thefilm...addiction.html
http://www.montanameth.org/Meth_Info/education.php

Let me know if I can do anything, ok?

Nancy
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Unread 07-11-2010, 12:23 PM   #5
vhappy
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Nancy,
Thanks for getting back to me! My son's new roomate we heard is a oxy dealer. But after his sister went over to talk to him and went in his bathroom she saw stuff that you use for meth. We put a plan into action that he agreed with last Friday, and now he is not as coopertive. The plan was basically he get treatment and live with us for awhile, and let us control his money until he is more stable (he has a really good job). When he was at work, I went and gathered info from our local treatment center's. I believe I mentioned this before, but we finally got sub treatment here. I went to the office, actually the attic of the so called treatment councelors house. That is a little odd, but not totally where I live. The place is called recovery cove treatment, and they only do sub treatment. The doctor that perscribes the sub does it via T.V. Anyway after he gave me the whole schpeel and alot of it was different than anything I ever learned, like the program was 3,600.00 up front and you could bill the insurance yourself. The main thing that bothered me, was the program includes sub group once a week and one private session with him only goes for 5 months. I asked what if you are not ready in 5 months. He said everyone is ready by the time they complete are 5 month treatment plan, they will be addiction free and off sub. I felt like he was playing on a mothers emotions to get her son better. He urged me to get him to start at 9.am the next morning and write him a check immediatly! I felt like I had just left a used car salesmen. I informed him after everything he said that I was on sub, and used the naabt website. He told me to stay away, because the information was harmful to my recovery. More like he did not want anyone with any education about sub treatment. I am going to go back and ask some more questions, but something tells me to stay away! Sorry got off topic, I have been reading about all the different things you posted. Does the naltoxene actually block the high from meth. I think that is what I was reading......My son is very private and plays video games for hours, he is not very social, and I think suffers from depression. He has a very high I.Q. and was invited to join MENSA (i think) he got involved for a short time, but hasn't attended in a few years. You would think the high I.Q would be a good thing. NOT it has always seperated him from his classmates and made him different.

I am going to keep reading, and of course know the ultimate decision to get help, is in his hands. I just want to have the info.

Thanks Nancy,

Vhappy
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Unread 07-12-2010, 08:46 AM   #6
NancyB
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Hi vhappy, $3,600 for 5 months with the one group and one private session doesn't really seem all that bad. Did he say how long the sessions were for? The "up front" part is a little bothersome, as is the 5 months and you're 'cured'. Yes, he did seem like he was playing on your emotions with the high-pressure pitch. Very interesting about him saying that educating yourself is harmful to your recovery, more like it's probably harmful to his bottom line. When you go back to ask more questions, think about asking him how he does an induction; how he tapers people off; does he limit the dose that someone starts with; how long has he been doing this; and what are his addiction treatment credentials. I think it would be really interesting to see how he'd answer those questions.

From what I understand, naltrexone wouldn't block the high from methamphetamine, it makes it less pleasurable - the same way it works for alcohol dependence - which then, in turn, would cause the patient to use less. It seems to cut down on the cravings too. Here's a link to a Swedish study of 80 people:
http://www.thebody.com/content/art50143.html

Has he ever seen a psychiatrist or talked with another doctor about the possibility of a depression diagnosis? Maybe he is self-medicating for that and if he was properly treated for the depression, it would help him alot.

What's pretty interesting is the use of buproprion in clinical trials for methamphetamine addiction - since that's an anti-depressant that works on dopamine (Wellbutrin). Maybe that would help both his depression and work on the cravings for meth? This is a clinical trial link that has a really defined explanation in the "Purpose" section:
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00833443

I'll keep looking for more info on it. I hope that he's ready to get help - as you know, that's the huge first step.

You're in my thoughts.

Nancy
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