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Researchers close in on potential treatment for meth addiction

Researchers think they may have found the first medication treatment for meth addiction, a significant step toward stemming the increase in overdose deaths seen in recent years (Source: “Study identifies first potential treatment for meth addiction,” The Hill, Jan. 13).

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that a combination of two medications may be a safe and effective treatment for adults with moderate or severe methamphetamine use disorder.

The phase three clinical trial studied the effects of the combination of Naltrexone, which is approved to treat alcohol and opioid use disorder, and Wellbutrin, an antidepressant, on adults with moderate or severe methamphetamine use disorder. It compared the effects to a control group of patients receiving placebos.

Patients receiving the drug combination responded at a significantly higher rate than those in the control group and reported fewer cravings and improvements in their lives.

“We’re very excited about the results because until now, despite a lot of research that has gone into the field, there has not been any successful trials for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction that involve medications,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which conducted the trial.