Saturday May 25, 2019

New Therapy Could Help Combat Drug Addiction

In their experiment, the researchers trained rats to press on a lever for cocaine infusions at certain light cues

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New Therapy Could Help Combat Drug Addiction
New Therapy Could Help Combat Drug Addiction. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a treatment that may help reverse chemical imbalances made to the brain by habitual drug use and could one day help recovering drug addicts avoid future drug use.

When tested on rats, the new treatment was effective in reducing the animals’ cravings, according to the findings published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

When someone habitually misuses drugs, their brain chemistry is changed in ways that make it harder for them to quit taking drugs despite negative consequences.

Once someone has developed this brain disorder, their mind pays sharper attention to cues that encourage drug use, making it harder for them to abstain.

Serotonin, a brain chemical that transmits information between neural regions, is a key player in these changes.

The researchers found that the serotonin 2C receptors in drug addicts do not work as well as they should.

drugs
Representational image. Pixabay

The team led by researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in the US designed, synthesised and pharmacologically evaluated a series of small molecule therapeutics designed to restore the weakened signalling.

The findings showed that the novel therapeutic may help reverse chemical imbalances made to the brain by habitual drug use.

In their experiment, the researchers trained rats to press on a lever for cocaine infusions at certain light cues.

Once the rats learned this cocaine-seeking behaviour, half of them received the most promising therapeutic and the other half received only saline.

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The findings showed that the animals treated with the new therapeutic pressed the lever for cocaine far fewer times than the saline-treated control animals, even when reinforced with the cocaine-associated light cues.

“We are the first to show that a serotonin 2C receptor therapeutic of this type can be successfully used to decrease drug-seeking behaviours,” said Kathryn Cunningham, Director of Center for Addiction Research at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

“Our findings are especially exciting because in addition to someday helping people to recover from drug addiction, impaired functioning of the serotonin 2C receptor is also thought to contribute to other chronic health issues such as depression, impulsivity disorders, obesity and schizophrenia,” Cunningham added. (IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi Urges Youth to Stay Away From Drug Addiction as it Helps Anti-national Forces

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said strict compliance of the law had been ensured to break the drug trade and the smuggling network in Haryana

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Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi.(Wikimedia Commons)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged youth to stay away from drug addiction, saying that it not only adversely affected the mind and body but also helps anti-national forces.

The Prime Minister was speaking through video-conferencing at the launch of ‘Drug Free India’ campaign organized by the Art of Living at Guru Jambeshwar University in Haryana’s Hisar town.

Modi said those who took drugs were unintentionally supporting anti-social elements.

“Drug traders harm the youth power and weaken the economic strength of the country. The Government of India has formed a National Action Plan to prevent cross-border drug trade and break the backbone of drugs business. It was implemented in 2018,” he said.

He said that a detailed action plan till 2025 has been prepared against drug addiction which includes an awareness generation campaign among the people, its prevention, and special campaigns for sensitive sections of the society.

Modi. BJP
Drug addiction helps anti-national forces: Modi. VOA

The Prime Minister also appealed to the people to adopt a sensitive attitude towards the victims of drugs by not looking at them as criminals and show these misguided youths the right path by connecting them to the mainstream society.

“Like other social evils, we would get this evil of drug addiction eliminated from society. The use of technology can play an important role in this campaign. Social organizations and community welfare organizations are playing a very important role in this direction,” he added.

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Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said strict compliance of the law had been ensured to break the drug trade and the smuggling network in Haryana.

“The state government created a Special Task Force in January 2018 through which many drug dealers have been caught and large quantities of drugs have been seized,” he said. (IANS)