The Future of Addiction Treatment

The cases of increasing relapsing rates after the heroin addiction treatment is one of the primary concerns for the treatment centers as well as the families of the recovering addict. With the constant increase in the surge of addiction towards heroin, it is important to reach the deep roots of the addiction rather than a superficial treatment. Scientists have taken the research work pertaining to the addiction to heroin to the genome level. They have been able to find the gene that has a prominent role in the addiction relapse for patients dependent on heroin. Furthermore, they have been successful in finding a way to block the effects of this gene, thus bringing out a permanent cure for the relapse and heroin cravings.

Although, the research was carried forth on the lab rats that were made to develop an addiction towards heroin, it is likely that the treatment will soon continue to humans addicted on heroin. People with a heroin addiction tend to quit the use once they undergo the rehabilitation programs and treatments. However, the period of success is short-lived when the person restarts with the process of heroin intake.

This insidious cycle will continue to keep the patients from recovering completely. The research reveals that there needs creative and more prominent therapies that will be helpful in breaking the patterns that are a characteristic of the after treatment period. These therapies need to focus completely upon the compulsive behavior that is exhibited by the person coming out of treatment.

The research focuses on heroin and the part of midbrain known as nucleus accumbens, the section of the brain that has an intense role in cravings as well as the pleasure that comes from food, accomplishments, as well sex. It is seen that the nucleus accumbens also has a prominent role in drug craving. Drugs such as heroin are successful in over stimulating this part of the brain, thereby giving them intense pleasure even better than food.

A gene, AGS3 is known to be behind the cravings and thus, was the protagonist in the research. Understanding this gene is essential for developing therapies and treatments for heroin addiction. The information from the gene helped the scientists understand that the gene AGS3 has a prominent role in the functions pertaining to heroin. The gene seemed to be more active on the inside of the nucleus accumbens as opposed to the exterior of the region.

The study was further continued to block the gene highly active in the heroin addiction. The lab rats were injected with an AGS3 blocker in the nucleus accumbens region of the brain, after a short interval of withdrawal. Normally, with addiction, even the minimal dosage of heroin is capable of brining the person back to addiction, which is why the after-treatment phase is of vital importance. In case of the experiment, it was seen that the rats did not show any inclination to heroin after the blocker. Since there were no side effects as well, the procedure seemed to have a good result.

Although, scientists have yet to develop a procedure for safer administration of the gene blocker in humans, this procedure will count as an important development for people struggling with relapses.

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