Doctors and researchers have long looked for a medication capable of easing the effects of cocaine addiction. For a variety of reasons, their past efforts haven’t been successful, and there is no single medication on the market capable of filling this role. However, current evidence indicates that two other medications-buprenorphine and naltrexone-that were initially designed for other purposes, apparently work in combination to ease cocaine addiction and facilitate successful participation in cocaine rehab programs. Doctors usually use buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction, while naltrexone is used to treat both opioid and alcohol addiction.
Methamphetamine is known for its ability to damage normal brain function in its users. Unfortunately, some of the damage done by the drug increases the likelihood that recovering addicts will experience a relapse and return to active methamphetamine abuse. At one time, doctors and researchers believed that meth addicts were incapable of regaining the mental function required to significantly decrease any relapse risks. However, current evidence indicates that many of the brain deficits that can lead to relapse will gradually fade away if people addicted to the drug can remain in recovery for an initial, crucial period of time.
Substituted amphetamines are a group of chemically related substances that possess a strong chemical resemblance to the manmade stimulant drug amphetamine. Some of these substances-including ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and cathinone-come from plant sources and predate synthetic amphetamine by thousands of years or more. Others-including methamphetamine and MDMA (Ecstasy)-are synthetic and have only existed for anywhere from decades up to slightly more than a century. Almost all substituted amphetamines produce pleasure and stimulant effects in the central nervous system; to varying degrees, they may also produce hallucinations and increased feelings of connectedness toward others. Side effects common to most of these substances include potentially deadly toxic reactions (overdoses) and long-term risks for drug addiction.
25 Mar 2013
Topiramate is an anticonvulsant medication used to treat seizures stemming from the presence of epilepsy or a separate seizure disorder called Lennox-Gaustaut syndrome; in addition, doctors frequently prescribe the medication in order to prevent the return of symptoms in people with a history of migraine headaches. According to a variety of scientific studies conducted in the 2000s, topiramate can also help doctors treat people with alcoholism by decreasing alcohol cravings and promoting a decrease in alcohol intake. Unlike other medications used to treat alcoholism, topiramate can be successfully prescribed to people still actively consuming large amounts of alcohol.
24 Mar 2013
Cocaine is well known for its ability to trigger drastic changes in the normal cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) health of its users. However, people who use/abuse the drug can also develop a range of problems in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which extends from the esophagus to the rectum. Some of these problems occur relatively frequently, but only produce relatively minor health complications. Other cocaine-related gastrointestinal problems occur relatively rarely, but can produce severe or even life-threatening health complications. These advanced complications occur when cocaine use leads to loss of normal blood flow to various parts of the GI tract.
23 Mar 2013
The variety of substances misused by people at times seems staggering. It is especially alarming when teenagers come up with a different everyday substances to consume, smoke, or inhale for a high. When they cannot get access to alcohol or street drugs, kids often turn to household items. Using inhalants like aerosol cans, for instance, is nothing new. Popping up on the radar now, however, is abuse of mothballs. The smelly, moth-deterring balls that protect wool sweaters are giving some kids a high and sometimes leading to health consequences as well.
Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are two drugs that occur naturally in the plant species Ephedra sinica, known in traditional Chinese medicine as ma huang. Both of these substances are common ingredients in a variety of prescription and nonprescription medications used to treat colds, hay fever, and allergies. Not coincidentally, they bear a strong chemical resemblance to the legal stimulant drug amphetamine and the illegal stimulant drug methamphetamine. In fact, illicit drug manufacturers commonly use either ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to produce methamphetamine. For this reason, federal laws in the United States strongly restrict these substances’ legal usage.
21 Mar 2013
Methamphetamine and cocaine are two illegal drugs that belong to a class of substances called stimulants. Virtually all substances in this class produce significant changes in mental and physical function by altering normal rates of activity in both the central nervous system and a network of involuntary nerves known as the sympathetic nervous system. Despite their basic similarities as stimulant drugs of abuse, methamphetamine and cocaine differ from each other in important ways, including the degree of change they produce in the central nervous system, their duration of activity within the brain and body, and their ability to trigger a drug overdose.