Does This New Med Solve Meth Addiction?
A new medicine shows promising results in helping meth addicts quit once and for all. This medicine is especially important because meth has the highest relapse rate of any drug, a shockingly high 88%.
Eric Peterson, of the University of Arkansas, helped develop a “anti-meth antibody” that makes it impossible for users to get high. He recently presented his findings at a meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.
This new medicine, which has yet to be named or tested in humans, shows remarkable effectiveness in mice. The med research was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
So, what does this medicine do? How does it block meth’s incredibly addictive effects? More importantly, is this therapy a new silver bullet in the fight against addiction or simply the latest scientific trend?
Meth Antibodies That Block the Drug
Peterson, with help from graduate students at the University of Arkansas, has developed what some people are calling “the meth vaccine.” Basically, they developed a combination anti-meth antibody and virus that can be administered via injection.
Once administered, the medicine makes it literally impossible for meth addicts to get high. It also lasts for around fifty days. This makes it an invaluable tool for those in early-sobriety who’re struggling to stay sober despite overwhelming cravings.
The medicine works by delivering genes into meth addict’s cells. The genes tell the body to make a continuous supply of anti-meth antibodies and are delivered via a dismembered, or harmless, virus. The antibodies then block meth molecules from crossing the blood-brain barrier.
Sound a bit too scientific? Yeah, I thought so. Basically what happens is that after getting a shot of this medication, the virus begins to replicate. Then, the genes this virus carries prompt the body to produce large numbers of meth antibodies. These antibodies, in turn, attack meth molecules when they enter the body. They effectively render the drug useless.
What’s more is they last for up to fifty days! Peterson and his graduate students tested mice fifty days after they were injected with the new medication. The mice showed large amounts of methamphetamine in their blood, which means it never entered the brain and got the mice high! The meth was eventually filtered out of their blood through the kidneys.
Okay, that’s pretty cool! I can 100% get behind anything that makes early-sobriety easier for struggling addicts. Even the Big Book urges addicts and alcoholics to make use of doctors and the benefits they offer. What I’m not sold on, though, is the idea that this new medicine will “solve” addiction.
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Addiction is More Than Just Drugs
The disease of addiction is about more than simply drugs. It’s a three-part disease: physical, mental, and spiritual. So, while this new medicine does wonderful things on a physical level, it doesn’t touch the mental or spiritual sides.
For that reason, I hesitate to label it a “cure” for addiction. After all, we’re never cured of our disease. We can put it into remission through medicines like this new one (and working the steps!), but it never goes away completely.
So, while this new medication is extremely helpful, it isn’t a cure by any means. It will keep addicts from getting high if they pick up, but it won’t stop them from picking up in the first place. Remember, relapse is a process. It doesn’t just happen. It’s a long development of faulty thinking, spiritual disconnection, and unhealthy emotional outlet.
A true solution to addiction addresses the many reasons we turn to drugs to make things better. A true solution to addiction addresses the physical side of things and the mental and spiritual side. So, until the day that enters the picture, let’s keep praying and meditating!