Researchers are making progress in the search for medicines to treat addiction, according to The Wall Street Journal. They are learning more about how heavy drug and alcohol use affects the brain.
A study published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine found the drug gabapentin, used to treat epilepsy and some types of pain, can help people with alcoholism quit drinking.
The 12-week study of 150 alcohol-dependent participants found gabapentin decreased the number of days people drank heavily, and at least tripled the percentage of people who were able to stop drinking altogether, compared with those receiving a placebo. The drug also reduced alcohol craving and improved mood and sleep quality.
“There’s been a huge amount of progress understanding what drives alcoholism and makes it difficult to stop,” lead researcher Barbara Mason of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, told the newspaper.
Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education