METH-RELAPSE PREVENTION STUDIES COULD HELP OPIOID ABUSERS AND ADDICTS
- November 18, 2018
For decades, the United States has suffered from the infectious grip of the Opioid Crisis. In fact, in 2015 alone, officials reported that an estimated 2 million Americans (ages 12 and older) had developed an addiction to prescription opioids, while nearly 117,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses from 2015 to 2016. Now, consider that (on average) 100 million American citizens suffer from chronic pain, and you may begin to realize how this crisis stemmed from (ironically) 100% legal substances (with the exception of heroin and other illegal mixtures). So would you ever consider that a combination of mind-altering drugs could potentially prevent relapse or addiction, to begin with? According to a new study, an updated version of the meth-relapse prevention program could potentially help opioid abusers and addicts recover faster and more efficiently. Let’s take a closer look and find out.
For many people undergoing recovery from substance use disorders, memories and triggers can force individuals to enter a relapse mode and return to using the substances that harmed them in the first place, beginning the cycle all over again. Anything can set it off, from tasting a certain food to handling money. However, scientists have uncovered a unique connection between meth-relapse therapy (used to treat this type of situation) and opioid addiction. So why is this the case? Scientists report that meth users often suffer from polysubstance abuse, in which a meth addict uses multiple drugs simultaneously. For this reason, researchers believe meth-relapse prevention programs could potentially help opioid addicts.
In short, one medication might hold the key. A derivative of the drug blebbistatin, this new drug takes drastic effects by breaking down meth-related memories that can trigger cravings for the drug and promote a relapse. Courtney Miller (an associate professor at the Scripps Research Florida campus) believes that this modulation of emotionally-triggered memories is a key phase for helping addicts overcome their base desires.
So how does this drug work exactly? In tests on lab animals, the blebbistatin derivative interfered with storage units in the amygdala (the emotional-memory center of the brain). After being consumed, the drug blocks the absorption of a protein called nonmuscle myosin II, a trigger for actin (an agent that promotes neural plasticity). Simply put, it blocks connections between a memory and an emotion, reducing the possibility of a drug relapse in addicts and abusers.
Always remember that opioids do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug abuse or addiction troubles today.