Researchers from Scripps Research Institute recently says a two-drug combination might help those battling cocaine addiction.

The combination made up of naltrexone and buprenoprine, two existing pharmaceutical drugs, is really a therapy that would help reduce individuals´ want for cocaine as well as lessen their feelings of withdrawal. Scientists thought that the treatment is a step forward as there are currently no medications which are authorized by the U.S. Fda (FDA) to combat cocaine addiction. The two-drug combination is discussed within this week´s edition from the journal Science Translational Medicine.

“Combining drugs with multiple actions can be a useful approach which has not been utilized extensively,” Scripps Research Professor George Koob, chair of the Scripps Research Committee around the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders and team leader for that research, commented inside a prepared statement.

In the past, individual drugs have been tested in numerous studies as possible treatments but have the ability to been unsuccessful for those who have cocaine addiction.

“These findings potentially represent an enormous bridge from basic research towards the establishment of the new and effective medication for cocaine addiction,” noted Senior Research Associate Leandro F. Vendruscolo, a co-author on the study, within the statement.

The abuse of cocaine is believed to become one of the major drug issues in the U.S. In the mid-1990s, work of National Drug Control Policy published a study that stated that Americans spent more income on cocaine than other illegal drugs combined. Another study completed in 2008 by the National Institute on Substance abuse found that 1.9 million Americans had used cocaine inside a given month. Furthermore, exactly the same year, approximately a quarter of emergency room visits related to drugs stemmed from cocaine use.

In terms of use, cocaine is snorted, injected, or smoked. When it´s used, it enters the bloodstream and then moves through the blood-brain barrier to reside in the brain´s motivational/pleasure circuits. Cocaine also stops the standard regulation of dopamine, which contributes to a feeling of euphoria based off a build-up of dopamine in the brain´s motivational systems.

With a brief history of cocaine use, physicians have changed up their management of the disorder. Previously, they focused on providing counseling, therapy, and other ways of social supporter for abusers of the drug. Current treatment focuses on anti-stress medications and other pharmaceuticals that can help target the long-term physiological results of the cocaine.

However, through various studies, Koob and the fellow researchers determined that continued utilization of cocaine might cause the brain to change the point at which it reaches the sensation of euphoria. As time passes, the mind needs a lot of drug to reach a certain high. If a user stops using cocaine, stress and aversion remains high.

The scientists used this knowledge to sharpen on the results of the drug; they learned that two varied systems, kappa opioid system and mu receptor, could have different effects according to short versus extended utilization of cocaine for rats. They identified the potential risks and drawbacks, including negative emotions, that can come back from not using the drug. In restoring the brain´s rewards as well as stress/adverse systems, the mixture of pharmaceuticals can address cocaine addiction.

“This finding gave us a firm idea that, during extended use of cocaine, the positive brain reward function becomes attenuated as the negative brain stress/aversive systems get involved,” explained Professor Sunmee Wee of Scripps, an initial author within the study, in the statement.