Cocaine Maintenance Options

Cocaine Maintenance Options

The cocaine or stimulant problem in the United States has not disappeared. According to a 2007 government survey, 2.1 million Americans had used cocaine in the month prior to the survey and 1 million had taken other stimulants for nonmedical purposes including more than half a million users of methamphetamine. There are currently no treatments for cocaine addiction. The only treatment for cocaine or stimulant addiction is abstinence based rehab therapy. This means that only 1/3 of improve after treatment but most end up relapsing repeatedly. And despite decades of study there are still no approved medications for cocaine addiction.

So is there any hope for cocaine maintenance? Are there any cocaine maintenance options?

Cocaine maintenance options have not been studied extensively. The reason for this is because cocaine or an amphetamine replacement option can cause brain damage, psychosis, heart attack and stroke. Another problem is that cocaine maintenance options increase the users’ desire to use the drug more, rather than stopping cravings or satisfying it. Another concern is that a cocaine maintenance drug would excite the user and not relax them.

This hasn’t stopped research on cocaine maintenance from being studied though. The best studied drugs so far for cocaine maintenance options are dexamphetamine which is a form of amphetamine used in the drug Adderall and the drug Modafinil, the wakefulness drug used to treat narcolepsy and shift-work sleep disorder.

Dexamphetamine as a cocaine maintenance option

A British study followed 60 stimulant or cocaine addicts who were treated with the first cocaine maintenance option of dexamphetamine. Doctors tracked how well the patients did in comparison to 120 heroin addicts who were being treated with methadone. What the doctors found was an equal reduction in illicit drug use and drug injection. In both the cocaine group and the heroin group, about two-thirds of the patients stopped injecting over 10 months.

Modafinil as a cocaine maintenance option

Modafinil is a newer stimulant drug that doesn’t carry the risk of addiction like other amphetamines. This makes it almost a perfect candidate as an alternative maintenance drug. The only downfall to Modafinil is that it is less effective in treating the most severe addictions.

It is believed that many cocaine abusers or stimulant abusers suffer from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD only affects about one percent of the general population and it shows up in about 30% of cocaine and amphetamine addicts. Psychiatrists are very hesitant to give ADHD medication to patients with a history of addiction but some studies have shown that cocaine maintenance may be exactly what this group of cocaine addicts or stimulant addicts need. It is believed that many cocaine addicts abused drugs as an attempt to self-medicate.

None of the research about cocaine maintenance option states that it will work for every cocaine addict. But there is never any kind of medical treatment that works 100% of the time. Many people believe the cocaine maintenance options are something that could be of real benefit for cocaine and stimulant addicts everywhere.

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1864767,00.html

Meth Drug Abuse

Meth Drug Abuse

Meth Drug Abuse

Methamphetamine, also known as Chalk, Crank, Croak, Crypto, Crystal, Fire, Glass, Meth, Tweek, or White Cross, is a central nervous system stimulant. It increases energy, awareness, and alertness. In high doses, it causes a feeling of euphoria. Meth can be prescribed by a doctor, but this is rare, as its medical uses are limited. Most “street meth” is chemically concocted in small, illegal laboratories.

Meth is a crystalline, white, odorless powder. It dissolves easily in water. Meth can be taken orally, snorted, smoked or injected.

Meth acts on dopamine receptors in the brain. It stimulates the receptor to release a rush of dopamine which stimulates brain cells, increasing mood and energy. Dopamine is closely related to the reward centers in the brain, which is why meth drug abuse has such a high incidence of dependence and addiction.  Meth drug abuse has also been shown to have a neurotoxic effect on dopamine neurons over time, inducing Parkinson’s-like symptoms in long term users.

Clandestine meth labs produce much of the illegal meth available on the street for sale. These labs can operate in homes, trailers, barns, etc. Meth can be synthesized fairly easily from a variety of chemicals available for over-the-counter sale. The manufacture of meth can be dangerous, however, because it involves the use of flammable or corrosive chemicals. KissKL. Meth production also leaves behind a residue of toxic waste, which is hazardous to people living in or near a lab. Six pounds of toxic residue is generated for every pound of meth produced.

Since 1989, five federal and dozens of state laws have been passed to try to control the production of meth in the US. One of these laws prohibits pseudoephedrine-containing products (like Sudafed) from being sold on the counters. Pseudoephedrine is one of the ingredients in meth, and it now is kept behind the pharmacy counter. Purchasers are only allowed to buy small quantities of products containing pseudoephedrine, and they must show ID to be allowed to buy them.

Meth can cause serious long-term health problems. Chronic drug abuse can cause paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive behavior, and delusions of parasites or insects crawling under the skin. Meth drug abusers often scratch at their skin obsessively. Long term drug abusers often notice a degeneration of their teeth. This condition is known as “meth mouth.” Experts believe that this condition is caused by a combination of “dry mouth” caused by the drug, poor oral hygiene, and grinding of teeth often observed in meth addicts. Meth users often experience a decrease in sleep and appetite. The subsequent weight loss, lack of sleep, picking at skin, and “meth mouth” causes the rapid deterioration in physical appearance that is often observed in meth addicts.

Meth addiction is one of the most difficult forms of addictions to treat. Most chronic drug abusers experience heavy withdrawal symptoms when meth drug abuse is abruptly stopped. Several drugs are used to treat withdrawal symptoms and cravings, but their success rate is low. Because of the neurotoxicity caused by meth on dopamine neurons, post-acute withdrawal (withdrawal lasting for weeks or months) is common.