Addiction Term Paper Final

Submitted By delightfulcarlo
Words: 1285
Pages: 6

Running head: DOES A TWO-DRUG COMBINATION HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO FIGHT COCAINE ADDICTION?

Does a two-drug combination have the potential to fight cocaine addiction?
Carlo Olkeriil
Portland State University
Carlo Olkeriil, Graduated School of Education Department, Portland State University

This Research Paper was written in part of the Grading and Course Requirements of the COUN 507: Addiction Pharmacology taught by Terry Alan Forrest, LPC, LMFT
Email: colker72@gmail.com

DOES A TWO-DRUG COMBINATION HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO FIGHT COCAINE ADDICTION?

Abstract

This paper explores a published article and a book that detail the results from a recent study showing that a fine-tuned combination of two existing pharmaceutical drugs have the potential to be a new therapy for people addicted to cocaine. The therapy approach would reduce their craving for the drug and blunt their symptoms of withdrawal. The potential therapy combined low doses of the drug naltrexone with the drug buprenorphine. The preclinical testing on laboratory rats revealed that the rats were less likely to take cocaine compulsively. The two-drug combination would have to prove safe and effective for people in clinical trials before approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The results of the work will represent a significant advance in the field of drug addiction because there are currently no FDA-approved medications for treating cocaine addiction.

DOES A TWO-DRUG COMBINATION HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO FIGHT COCAINE ADDICTION?

Cocaine addiction has risen drastically in the United States and it had been used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including depression, chronic fatigue, and asthma. How doctors think about treating people addicted to cocaine and other drugs has evolved in the last generation as they have come to better understand how these substances affect the brain's chemistry. Traditionally treatment for addiction focused solely on therapy, counseling, and other forms of social support. Today treatment for many types of addiction combine those traditional approaches with anti-stress medications and other pharmaceuticals that directly address the long-term physiological effects of a drug on the body.
When cocaine, a chemical salt extracted from the leaf of the coca plant, is snorted, injected, or smoked, the chemicals enters the blood stream and readily runs into the brain and accumulates rapidly in areas linked to the motivational/pleasure circuits of the brain. Moreover, the cocaine molecules interfere with the brains normal regulation of dopamine by binding to dopamine receptors and blocking them from recycling the neurotransmitter. Thus, this process leads to the build-up of dopamine in the brain's motivational systems in which produces a euphoric feeling in the user. This euphoric feeling happens quickly and can last for several minutes.
Koob and colleagues implied that this physiological action triggers opposing actions in the brain, one of which is an increase in small-protein molecules like dynorphin that produces stress/aversive effects. When an addict uses cocaine excessively and for a long period of time, the effect changes drastically and the cocaine molecules are no longer achieving enough to produce a euphoric feeling. Over time, it takes more of the drug to achieve the same effect and after the cocaine use is stopped; stress and aversion remains elevated( Koob, Vendruscolo, Schlosburg, 2012).

DOES A TWO-DRUG COMBINATION HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO FIGHT COCAINE ADDICTION?

A Combination Approach
According to Psychopharmacology in 2009, the team showed different systems (kappa opioid system and mu receptor) had different effects on the cocaine intake of rats with short versus extended access to the drug. This finding gave us a firm idea that, during the extended access to cocaine, the positive brain reward function becomes attenuated while the negative brain/averse…