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Medicine for Cocaine Addiction Offers Little Hope

No medication used to treat addiction is guaranteed to leave the addict with a lifetime of sobriety; nor is it considered to be the one and only source of successful treatment for addiction; however it is discouraging when a medical study hoping to aid those who suffer from addiction, specifically cocaine addiction are left without the results they were seeking. Vigabatrin is an example of medical technology that failed the tests to help with sobriety.

Catalyst Pharmaceutical, located in Florida made an announcement that CPP-109 (known as Vigabatrin) that the drug proved unsuccessful in clinical trials. Drug rehabilitation clinics like Vista Taos Renewal Center in Taos, New Mexico understand that you cannot rely on medication alone to help overcome cocaine addiction. In fact, their treatment facility spends time educating on how natural methods or “complimentary therapies” offered by the clinic can be a great help in drug rehabilitation. Prescribed medication actually plays a very small part in successful drug treatment therapy. These holistic therapies and counseling combined can do more for a person than any pill can promise. How did this specific drug fail the 12-week study? Compared to a placebo group, there was no correlation that CPP-109 made people crave cocaine any less.

The CEO of Catalyst stated on record, that the company is not ready to toss away all hope regarding this drug to treat cocaine addiction. At this point, it is not being sold for any purpose in the United States, but is available in Belgium under the name Sabril. The earlier studies on animals and humans both showed promising results, as it did appear to diminish the desire for stimulant drugs. Unsure of why it failed, the CEO said that “cocaine addicts are a very unpredictable group.” It is very difficult to tell people to give up something that has such a powerful hold on them, even when they are more than willing to try for the sake of a medical study and their own wellbeing. When they see a pill versus cocaine, they may often disregard actually taking the medication and continue on with cocaine addiction. Perhaps a tighter-controlled study will show better results. Other suggestions might be to convert it into an injectable that has a longer active phase. Then the injection can be administered by a medical professional, leaving the clinical volunteer to have no choice but to truly test the effects of the medication.

The company shows perseverance as they continue to pursue the studies to get this drug approved and ready to help those with cocaine addiction. At this time, they are only focusing on cocaine addicts, but the study mentioned a possible aid in meth addiction as well. There may have been many medical breakthroughs lately with pill medications that promise drug rehabilitation in a bottle. These medicines can all be traced back to a commonplace; they stop the reward center of the brain from responding to drugs. When there is no reward with substance abuse, the desire to ingest the substance is less. However, there have been some side effects with CPP-109 listed in some patients that were involved with trials overseas. The major one was retinal damage.

Drug rehabilitation for cocaine addiction, no matter how advanced pharmaceuticals get in the years to come, will never be answered by a simple prescription drug. It is the combination of therapies, and ongoing support that yields the best results for addicts seeking recovery. Such treatment approaches have been tested over and over again, with exceptional results and very few negative side effects. While some medications can prove very beneficial during drug rehabilitation, they will never be considered the main factor in helping someone beat their substance abuse problem.

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COVID-19 update: The health and safety of our clients at Vista Taos Renewal Center continues to be our highest priority. Due to the national rise in cases of COVID-19, all potential clients entering the Vista Taos program shall be tested for the virus and must receive their results prior to admission. Vista Taos continues to work closely with the New Mexico Department of Health, adhering to the highest standards of care for our clients, and will provide subsequent testing after admission as needed. For assistance in finding the most efficient testing sites, please contact our Director of Community Relations, Jeremy Lihte, at (575) 425-1913
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