A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found a possible medical treatment for meth addiction. The two-year research trial involved the participation of 400 patients suffering from methamphetamine use disorder, who were treated for 12 weeks using a combination of naltrexone and bupropion, or a placebo. The placebo treatment helped 2.5 percent of patients with their addictions, while the combo treatment helped 13.4 percent of patients. While this number may seem low, this success rate is similar to that of other medications that have been used to successfully treat mental disorders and other addictions.
This study has given many medical professionals hope in the effort to treat meth addiction. While some drug addictions like opioid addiction are treated with medications, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any medication to be used to treat meth addiction. The director of the National Institute on Drug Addiction anticipates the trial’s success will mean moving forward to get FDA approval for the treatment.
What Is Naltrexone & Bupropion?
The medications naltrexone and bupropion were used together after limited success in using them separately to treat meth addiction. In this particular study, patients received injections of naltrexone and oral doses of bupropion.
Naltrexone is primarily used to treat people with opioid addictions by blocking opioid receptors in the brain, leading to reduced cravings, while bupropion has been used to treat depression. One theory as to why these two drugs work in treating meth addiction is that naltrexone works to reduce meth cravings while bupropion helps relieve users of the anxiety they feel when they stop using meth.
Some researchers are saying that the clinical trial comes at a good time, as meth addictions have increased over the last few years thanks to the increase in meth importations from Mexico. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has seen their meth seizures on the Southwestern border double in the last two years, according to NPR.
How Does Meth Addiction Develop?
Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that acts on the central nervous system to affect the brain’s dopamine and serotonin levels, typically leading to more energy and feelings of euphoria. Because of its long-lasting and pleasurable effects, it has a high potential for abuse – in 2019 alone, one million people in the U.S. met the requirements for having methamphetamine use disorder.
Meth usage is also associated with an uncomfortable “crash” that follows once the drug wears off, which leads users to feel lethargic, depressed, anxious, and fatigued. These negative feelings often compel individuals to take more meth to feel high again, leading to a pattern of abuse and addiction.
Effective Drug Addiction Treatment Throughout Georgia
The Carter Treatment Center understands that drug addiction is difficult, and overcoming it can be challenging, too, from asking for help to managing day-to-day life in recovery. This is why at our facilities, we offer a variety of alternative therapies to help patients where they’re at in their journeys and give them the freedom to choose how they heal. From yoga and sound therapy to nutritional counseling and more, our outpatient rehab has something for everyone, including individuals who are dealing with addiction to methamphetamines. Around 2 million people in the United States reported using meth at least once in the last year, according to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Though you may feel isolated, we’re here to help you realize you’re not alone.
Contact The Carter Treatment Center today online or by phone at (678) 737-4430 for drug and alcohol addiction treatment if you’re in Georgia – our facilities in Cumming and Suwanee provide the same alternative therapies and accept most major insurances!