Is a meth addiction cure on the way?
A second phase of testing for the drug Ibudilast was approved by the FDA, and, if proven effective, could be the first known cure for meth addiction.
In the first phase of the trial, researchers from UCLA administered the drug to 11 meth addicts in order to test safety concerns. Results showed the drug to be safe for those currently taking methamphetamines and also effective at minimizing addictive symptoms.
Meth users lack options
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there were about 439,000 meth abusers in the U.S. in 2011 alone. Their options are often limited to in-patient rehab centers or 12-step programs — both of which tend to show poor results in terms of lasting results for recovery.
Ibudilast may help to prevent the activation of cells in the central nervous system that are linked to drug dependence, the UCLA researchers say.
"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, in an article on the Huffington Post.
Second phase of trial set for summer
The study will continue in mid-summer, when researchers will conduct a 12-week trial on 140 meth users who are seeking treatment.
And while the study is small, researchers like Dr. David Sack, psychiatrist and CEO of Promises addiction treatment centers, say that the findings are incredibly important.
"There are no effective treatments for amphetamine dependence despite more than a generation of research," Sack said.
Results of the summer trial are expected to be released in 2015.
Source: Huffington Post