Tests underway on drug that could ‘cure’ meth addiction

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, April 8, 2013 13:35 EDT
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A teenage drug addict. Photo: Shutterstock.com.
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Scientists are testing a relatively common anti-inflammatory drug called Ibudilast for its potential to block the cravings of methamphetamine addicts, and the first round of results shows promise.

The Huffington Post noted recently that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) fast-tracked more human trials after researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) found that 11 addicts treated with the drug all saw improvements in cognitive function and decreases in their drug cravings.

The human trials for Ibudilast now move on to stage two, with an expanded group of subjects. A third round will be required before the FDA approves the drug for addiction treatment, but it is already sold for other uses, mainly in Japan and South Korea.

Current treatment options for meth addicts do not offer drug-based therapies, like drug replacement strategies shown to be effective with heroin addicts, but the addition of Ibudilast could change that.

Pharmaceutical company MediciNova also believes that Ibudilast could be effective in treating addiction to heroin and other opium-based drugs like hydrocodone.

A study published in 2009 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said that 10.3 million Americans have tried meth at least once. Just over 500,000 survey respondents said that they had taken the drug within the last 30 days.

This video is from Dallas-based KDAF-TV, aired Monday, April 8, 2013.


Photo: Shutterstock.com.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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