According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 23.5 million people needed drug addiction treatment for an illicit drug in 2009. This statistic reveals the prevalence of the problem of victims struggling with the overuse of drugs. Since the magnitude of addiction is so great, one may begin to wonder how people dependent on a drug can begin a step to freedom.
Thankfully, with advancing research in the science of drug rehabilitation, an up-and-coming treatment might be a viable and promising option: isradipine.
What Is Isradipine?
Isradipine is actually a commonly-prescribed medication that is called a calcium channel blocker. The drug is used for the treatment of patients with high blood pressure and helps to prevent medical emergencies such as strokes, heart attacks, or kidney problems in patients who are treated with it.
The medication is not a controlled substance; this means that it does not have a potential for addiction. You may be wondering, how does a blood pressure medication apply to treatment possibilities for people who have found themselves in the midst of addiction?
Revolutionary Laboratory Research
In early 2015, researchers at the University of Austin, located in Austin, Texas carefully designated their time to discover if any prescriptions might be able to help people caught in drug overuse. During this process, the scientist and research team, headed up by Hitoshi Morikawa (the associate professor of neuroscience at the university), stumbled upon a magnificent find: laboratory rats addicted to drugs and alcohol responded to isradipine.
The rats in the lab that were addicted to alcohol and cocaine enjoyed spending time in a specific color room (either black or white), depending upon which room that they were given the drugs. In other words, the addicted rats associated a specific room with enjoyment due to their addiction to cocaine and alcohol. Contrary, the control group of rats—those not given drugs—did not show preference to a specific shade of the room.
This process was repeatedly observed over the course of a number of weeks until the rats suffering from addiction were given a daily dose of isradipine. On day one, researchers did not notice any difference. But beginning on day two, and every consecutive day thereafter, addicted rats given isradipine no longer had a preference for the color room in which they were given drugs.
Evidence Derived From The Study
Rats previously plagued with addiction and the tendency to crave the addictive environment in which they had immersed themselves showed a difference in behavior upon treatment with isradipine. Miraculously, researchers believe that the synapses in the rats’ brains that were wired to desire addictive surroundings were re-routed. The results: rats forgot what prompted them to strive for a drug.
What These Results Could Mean For Treatment Of Humans
The laboratory tests have led researchers to believe that isradipine altered the subconscious memories of the rats that had caused them to be consumed with addiction. Since drugs that treat hypertension (high blood pressure) block a specific ion channel in the brain, This means that isradipine might be able to block the ion channel in humans too—specifically the part of the brain that triggers negative associations due to drug habits.
If isradipine proves to be successful for use in humans, it would be a groundbreaking stride for the field of addiction treatment. As of now, there is not any medication that has garnered such promising results for those lost in the downward spiral of addiction.
Help For You
If you or a loved one is facing compulsive behavior due to dependence on a drug, you are not alone. The NIDA notes the astonishing fact that although the initial act of taking drugs may have been voluntary, the behavior unexpectedly becomes uncontrollable. The effects of a drug habit have extreme consequences—both physical and mental.
However, treatment options are available now. Please do not wait any longer to seek help for you or a person you know. Trusted assistance and more information are only a phone call away. Contact us at Vertava Health today.