Alcoholism Medication May Help Treat Methamphetamine Addiction

hand with prescription pill 5-20-15

The drug naltrexone, used to treat alcoholism, may also be useful in treating methamphetamine addiction, a small new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles found naltrexone decreased the desire for meth and the pleasure derived from using it, UPI reports.

The study included 22 men and 8 women who used meth an average of three or four times a week. Half of the participants were given naltrexone on days three and four of a four-day hospital stay, while the other half received a placebo daily. After 10 days, they spent another four days in the hospital. Those who had been given naltrexone took a placebo for four days, while those who had been given a placebo received naltrexone.

On the last day of each hospital stay, participants were given a dose of meth. After three hours, they were asked how they felt and whether they wanted more of the drug. Those who took naltrexone had less desire for meth, and said they enjoyed it less when they took it.

“The results were about as good as you could hope for,” researcher Lara Ray said in a news release. The study appears in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Larger clinical trials of naltrexone as a treatment for meth addiction are now being conducted with funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

12 Responses

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    Steve O

    August 6, 2016 at 2:45 AM

    I am a Meth addict. I have been using the drug on and off for the past 20 years. I still have all of my teeth and I am in good health. I want to know how to get vivitrol treatment. Please help. I want to stop thinking about using this drug. I don’t ever want to relapse again. God please help me.

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    May 22, 2015 at 1:47 PM

    Naltrexone is a wonderful medication. MyLife Recovery Centers is a treatment program for alcohol and opioid addiction that provides a long lasting naltrexone implant accompanied with intensive one-on-one life coaching and has been met with phenomenal results. I hope and believe the medication (along with behavioral therapy of course) will help hundreds of thousands suffering from addiction…especially those who would otherwise never seek treatment…

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    Dave Finch

    May 22, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    This sounds like good news for those who have reached the point of wanting to quit meth and are ready to do the hard work of focusing on positive incentives and avoiding cues that trigger wanting, but could use a little help in pill form. This is no panacea, but likely a useful addition to the tool kit.

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    May 20, 2015 at 11:53 PM

    Wow this is a really dumb idea. No meth ‘addict’ would choose to get a drug that prevents them from enjoying it. That’s the whole point in taking it in the first place. Unless the goal is coerced Vivitroll (extend release naltrexone) which is a horrible idea. It has very uncomfortable side effects (including severe complications in emergency/surgery) and people are ready to blow their brains out after a few months on it. Suicide rate is far worse than meth!

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    Skip Sviokla MD ABAM

    May 20, 2015 at 11:42 AM

    Seems as though Naltrexone seems to help a number of substance and behavioral disorders, albeit not much for most. Intriguing!
    Skip Sviokla MD ABAM

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