Study Tests Safety of Drug Treatment for Meth Addiction

Researchers at UCLA are studying a drug they hope will treat methamphetamine addiction, The Huffington Post reports. In a small study, the drug, Ibudilast, appeared to be safe and eased meth addiction.

The study included 11 people addicted to meth who were not seeking treatment. Some received the drug, and others got a placebo. The trial was the first of three phases of human testing required by the Food and Drug Administration for approval. It was meant to evaluate the safety of the drug taken in combination with meth, the article notes.

“Very preliminary results would indicate that Ibudilast may dampen craving and improve cognitive functioning,” said Dr. Aimee Swanson, co-investigator on the trial and research director at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine.

There are currently no drugs approved to treat meth addiction, the article notes. Counseling, in-patient rehabilitation or 12-Step groups often are not effective in treating meth addiction, Swanson said.

“When we see people come to participate in the trial, it’s really their last resort,” Swanson said. “Many of them can no longer hold down a job, they have strained relationships with family members. Gone went the cars, gone went the business, gone went the house, gone went the kids. The main focus of this person’s life is using meth.”

Swanson noted Ibudilast may prevent activation of central nervous system cells called glial cells that have been linked to drug dependence. “When you’re on meth, your whole brain is saying, ‘I need meth,'” she said. “If you could block meth from interfering with glial, it would allow the messages that you would like to be sending and receiving to actually get to your brain.”

The study took place in a hospital unit, which participants were not allowed to leave for three weeks. They received intravenous injections of meth two to three times per week while they were treated with Ibudilast.

The researchers will now move on to further testing, which will be funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, according to the article.

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    Tiffany Tefteller

    January 12, 2014 at 7:05 AM

    i come from a poor mother and am finacenly unstable ive never been in trouble never been to rehab ive kept my addiction low key therefore never having a reason to stop or having anyone to stop me for my own good im afraid i will eventualy die from meth if i dont stop can anybody help

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    Tiffany Tefteller

    January 12, 2014 at 6:55 AM

    im 28 yrs old ive been using meth on a daily basis since i was 13 yrs old i have wanted to quit for a couple years now i recently stopped using for three days but on the third night while sleeping i woke up having to pee and found myself unable to move and unable to talk i could how make noise so i tried hollering “help me” to alert my boyfriend after about ten mins i slowly regained my movement and words and was so affraid of going back to sleep finally i prayed and layed back down the next day my boyfriend told me i was talking in my sleep sayin help me and i told him he was wrong i wasnt asleep i was awake . on another occasion there was a dry spell of meth in my area that lasted for a couple of days and i experinced the same thing while sleeping waking up unable to move or speek ever since ive been so terrified that i refuse to go a day without using im afraid that my body has relied on meth for so many years that now that i want to quit my body wont let me

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    November 18, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    That really is an absurd comment. Myself and hundreds of men and women I know are recovering from meth addiction thanks to 12 step groups like NA and CMA. To say otherwise just makes it less likely that a using meth addict will seek help.

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    Tammy R.

    April 3, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    This is a wonderful break through; however, I never see anyone addressing the continuing need for recovery. Meaning, once you administer the new drug, then what? They still have the same friends, habits, defect that caused them to use drugs in the first place. Are you also recommending other help? If not, this is just a Band-Aid, not help.

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    April 3, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Give me a break. “There are currently no drugs approved to treat meth addiction, the article notes. Counseling, in-patient rehabilitation or 12-Step groups often are not effective in treating meth addiction, Swanson said”. I have been clean 27 years and there is hundreds of thousands of recovering meth addicts. Mr. Swanson wants to get rich selling his drug. While this drug might be a good thing to say that Counseling, in-patient rehabilitation or 12-Step groups are not effective is rediculous and dangerous.

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