Since there is currently no single approved treatment for cocaine use disorder, those who suffer from the addiction may feel as if they have little hope for recovery. Recovery is certainly possible, and new potential solutions are being discovered even now. Researchers at Boston Medical Center are currently investigating the possible use of a weight loss drug for cocaine addiction treatment.
A Weight Loss Drug Could Be Used for Cocaine Addiction Treatment
The psychiatry team at Boston Medical Center (BMC) has been studying the use of a drug called lorcaserin for possible cocaine addiction treatment. The drug targets the brain’s serotonin receptors and its use could help reduce cravings for cocaine as well as diminish the rewards that a user associates with taking the drug.
Lorcaserin is currently an FDA-approved drug for weight loss in adults who are obese or overweight and have other weight-related medical issues. Eric Devine, Ph.D. is the principal investigator of this study. Devine reports that there are no currently approved medications to treat cocaine use disorder, so finding something that reduces cravings and discourages use would be “a game changer.”
The multi-site study underway is expected to last 21 months. The study’s goal is to prove the safety and efficacy of using lorcaserin to treat cocaine addiction. Devine’s goal is to enroll 23 participants at BMC.
According to Devine, there is a better chance of finding effective treatments for addiction by examining drugs that are already approved by the FDA for other conditions. These treatments have already been proven safe and have a greater chance of making it to market as addiction treatments than something that is developed from scratch.
Devine hopes that researchers will know within the next two years whether or not lorcaserin will be able to help people suffering from cocaine use disorder. He does caution that the drug will not act as a “kill switch” for a person’s desire to use the drug, nor will it be a long-term treatment solution. Instead, it will help addicts begin their journey in recovery while they make other lifestyle changes and receive the needed addiction treatment.
What Is Known About Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine is one of the most addictive substances known to man. The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that approximately 910,000 Americans meet the criteria for cocaine dependence. Not only is cocaine a difficult drug from which to break away, it is also dangerous. As many as 6,000 unintentional deaths occur each year due to cocaine use.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options
Breaking free from a cocaine use disorder is difficult, but not impossible. Statistics show that the most successful do so with help. In fact, an estimated 90 percent who try to recover alone will end up relapsing. If you or any of your loved ones are struggling with cocaine addiction, there is help available. The Recovery Village offers a specialized cocaine addiction treatment program that includes medical detox, inpatient and outpatient treatment, dual diagnosis treatment, and aftercare planning. Contact one of our addiction specialists to discuss admissions now.