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A study conducted by UCLA researchers found that naltrexone, a drug used to treat alcoholism and opioid addiction, may also be effective in helping meth users shake their desire for the notoriously addictive stimulant.
The randomized double-blind experiment involved two groups consisting of 30 methamphetamine users who were randomly given naltrexone or placebo during a four-day hospital stint. The naltrexone group received a dose of 25 milligrams the first two days and a dose of 50 milligrams on days three and four. After 10 days, the participants were re-admitted for another four-day stint but the participant groups were switched—if you received naltrexone during the first four days you now received placebo and vice versa.
On the final day, both groups were given an intravenous dose (30 mg) of methamphetamine to test hypotheses that naltrexone would reduce both cue-induced methamphetamine craving and subjective responses to methamphetamine administration.
“The results were about as good as you could hope for,” said Lara Ray, a UCLA associate professor of psychology and director of the UCLA Addictions Laboratory, in a press release.