Tag Archives: Offers

New study details how cocaine really works in the brain, offers possibility of drug to treat addiction

Boulder, CO (PRWEB) February 03, 2015

A research team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered a mechanism in the brain that is key to making cocaine seem pleasurable, a finding that could lead to a drug treatment for fighting addiction.

The findings build on past research also involving CU-Boulder that found the same mechanism in the brain also interacts with heroin, oxycodone, morphine and other opioid drugs to amplify their addictiveness. The latest study suggests that the mechanism plays a key role in the addictiveness of many abused drugs, possibly including methamphetamine and alcohol.

The study, which also involved scientists at the University of Adelaide in Australia and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is being published today in the Nature journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Cocaine works by increasing the amount of dopamine, a chemical associated with feelings of pleasure, in the brain. Dopamine is part of the brain’s reward pathway, and it’s released to encourage animals to repeat behaviors, typically those that are key for survival such as eating and reproduction.

Researchers have known that cocaine blocks the brain’s ability to reabsorb dopamine, increasing its excitatory effects on neurons of the drug reward pathway.

In the new study, the research team shows that cocaine’s impact on neurons does not fully explain the drug’s dramatic effects on reward. In laboratory studies involving rats and mice, the scientists demonstrated that a second mechanism in the brain potently contributes to the abuse potential of cocaine.

The second mechanism centers on glial cells, the key component of the brain’s immune system. Cocaine binds to glial cells at a location called Toll Like Receptor 4 (TLR4). The glial cells then trigger an inflammatory response in the brain, exciting neurons and further increasing the amount of dopamine pumped into the brain.

“We’ve demonstrated conclusively that cocaine interacts with TLR4 to produce a pro-inflammatory effect in the brain,” said Alexis Northcutt, a CU-Boulder research associate in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and lead author of the paper. “The effect is necessary to convey the drug’s rewarding effects. Without it, reward is greatly reduced.”

The research team found that blocking the ability of cocaine to bind to TLR4 dramatically reduces the rewarding effects of cocaine. That finding suggests that blocking TLR4 on glial cells could be a therapeutic approach for treating drug abuse.

Previous research in the lab of CU-Boulder Professor Linda Watkins, the senior author of this study, has shown that a drug known as (+)-naltrexone, can be used to keep opioids from binding to TLR4.

“We found the same results when studying cocaine, which means the same drug, (+)-naltrexone, might be useful for treating a wider range of drug addictions,” Watkins said. “The exciting news is that this drug is already in development by Xalud Therapeutics.”

San Francisco-based Xalud Therapeutics, a CU-Boulder spinoff company based on Watkins’ research, is currently moving (+)-naltrexone toward human clinical trials.

The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and the Department of Defense, as well as the Australian Research Council.



Narconon Arrowhead Offers New Tips For Heroin Addiction Recovery

Canadian, Oklahoma (PRWEB) February 23, 2015

Heroin addiction has gained a strong foothold in America today. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a link between heroin use, and opioid painkillers.

Heroin Addiction Today

The 1990s birthed the treatment of chronic pain with drugs such as Percocet, Opana and OxyContin. Recent federal and state coordinated crackdown efforts to shut-down opiate dispensing “pill mills” resulted in a scarcity of opiates.

The alternative to opioid use is the cheaper and often more easily obtained drug, heroin.

According to the CDC, three-fourths of heroin abusers began with pills.

Heroin Treatment Today

Heroin addiction treatment today is primarily a pharmacological approach, where the addict’s dependency on heroin is substituted for another chemical dependency on a drug such as Subutex, Methadone or Naltrexone. The focus is on inhibiting or suppressing the addict’s heroin withdrawal symptoms and/or heroin cravings.

Using substitute drugs does not identify, address or resolve the underlying reason or cause for the individual starting down the road to addiction to begin with.

Behavioral therapies which focus on modifying the behavior related to the heroin addict’s drug use, and on increasing skills to cope with life is another approach to heroin addiction treatment. Though some life stresses may be alleviated, or an addict may be influenced to change to a greater or lesser degree, this approach doesn’t necessarily equip the person to accurately identify or accurately address the underlying cause.

In an effort to provide effective heroin addiction treatment, a pharmacological-behavioral therapy combined approach is also used.

A Different Approach

Narconon Arrowhead takes a different approach to heroin treatment, one which is based on an understanding of addiction, its life cycle and mechanics. This approach is broadly workable, and can help an addict understand the facts of chemical dependency.

Addiction has a life cycle:

    It begins with problem. It can take the form of a discomfort, or some form of emotional or physical pain physical.
    The person experiencing the problem has no immediate solution.
    The person feels that the problem is major, persistent and without relief or solution.
    Despite the addictive potential, this is the reason the he person will begin to use drugs or alcohol.
    The person feels relief for using the drugs or alcohol.
    Even though relief is temporary, the person adopts the drugs or alcohol as a solution to the problem.
     Value is assigned to the drug or drink by the person—the reason to use again.

Peer pressure is an influencing factor in addiction. Another is the fact that the individual in some way felt bad before using a drug or alcohol, and afterwards felt better. The relief gotten has value to the individual.

Tips for Heroin Addiction Recovery

Narconon Arrowhead delivers a drug-free and evidence-based approach to treating heroin addiction. The Narconon drug rehabilitation treatment program is an effective and workable alternative treatment.

Narconon Arrowhead shares the following tips for heroin addiction recovery:

    There is hope.
    It is possible to get through a drug-free heroin withdrawal with minimal discomfort.
    It is possible to markedly reduce or eliminate the physical and mental drug cravings which drive you to use again.
    It is possible to understand what caused you to start using drugs in the first place.
    It is possible to make-up the damage you have caused yourself and others due to your heroin abuse and the addiction lifestyle you lead.
    It is possible to learn the life skills tools you may be missing, or need to have to enable you to live your life drug-free.
    It is possible to make a new beginning, to restore some of your dreams and goals, and create a sober and productive life.
    Make the decision to get clean.
    Act on your decision.

For more information call 800-468-6933 or log onto http://www.narcononarrowhead.org.