Can a Weight Loss Drug Curb Cocaine Addiction?May 16, 2023
Medical researchers will often take a drug with an established use and experiment to see if it can help treat other conditions. The drug topiramate, for example, is primarily used to treat epilepsy and has been found to help with weight loss. Medical researchers have now explored whether or not the drug could also help treat alcohol and cocaine addictions.
The study at the University of Pennsylvania was conducted after previous studies on the same subject. Prior research has found that topiramate can help reduce alcohol dependence and reduce the chances of an addict returning to Cocaine Detox addiction, as well. Researchers noted that many addicts of one of these drugs are addicted to the other, so a drug that could target both would be a welcome help to the medical industry.
Researchers in the study had 170 addicts take either the drug or a placebo. They found that topiramate did reduce cravings for alcohol, but it didn’t actually reduce the amount that alcoholics were drinking. In other words, even if they didn’t feel like they had to drink so much, the alcoholics still did anyway.
The study also found that the drug was not better at reducing cocaine cravings than the placebo. On the positive side, addicts taking the drug were more likely to stay in drug addiction treatment and were more likely to abstain from cocaine during the last three weeks of the thirteen week study.
In the end, then, it appears that the results of the trial were a mixed bag after all. Anyone that has dealt with serious addictions to cocaine or alcohol knows that these drugs can be very difficult to quit. They also have very serious withdrawal symptoms, too. Addicts and the drug rehabilitation professionals treating them need tools with a proven rate of success, not another drug that has only so-so results.
In recent years, the medical industry has looked more and more to drug therapies to treat drug addictions. Methadone clinics, for example, are currently understood to be one of the main ways to treat heroin addiction. One has to ask why the prevailing logic seems to be to use drugs to handle a drug problem.
Anyone that’s dependent on a drug may have a genetic predisposition to drug addiction-medical science is accumulating evidence to support this proposition. More important than our genetics, however, are the decisions that we make about drugs and how drug use will be part of our lives.
Someone that is addicted to a drug made a poor choice at some point to use or continue using a drug after it was already apparent this would negatively affect his or her body and mind. This is not an instance of assigning blame or giving a reason to shun addicts-it is simply a fact that there is always an inciting reason for drug use and addiction.
In order to really handle an addict’s dependence on drugs or alcohol, effective drug rehabilitation needs to focus on finding out why an addict is using drugs and giving the person the life tools to take control of their problems. Rather than using more drugs to try to treat a drug addiction, rehabilitation efforts can revolve around detoxing from drugs and then focusing on how to help the addict stay drug free.