New drug treatment another valuable weapon in the arsenal

There is much debate about the merits of medically assisted treatment for those attempting to break the bonds of drug addiction. While some call it trading one drug for another, others believe it is one tool in the it’s-time-to-throw-everything-at-this-problem toolkit, and can be helpful to some truly ready to take steps to defeat the monster.

There are options available for help those trying to turn their lives around and away from opioid addiction. But as local law enforcement has pointed out, opioids are falling out of fashion, and methamphetamines are again rearing their ugly head.

“Because there is no medically assisted treatment for meth, that makes it a much more difficult problem than opioids,” said Dr. Michael Bardo, research partner for Dr. Linda Dwoskin of the University of Kentucky. “We don’t yet have anything equivalent to that, so those individuals are much more difficult to treat. There’s nothing available for stimulants.”

But Dwoskin and Bardo are working to change that. Important in their research has been finding a drug that doesn’t have an “abuse liability.” In other words, the researchers are looking for something that doesn’t simply feed addicts something different without actually helping them break the cycle.

“We’re really interested in doing whatever we can,” said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.

There are still details to be sorted out in the work being done by Dwoskin and Bardo– including figuring out how to best dispense the drug. But their work gives hopes that there may soon be another weapon in the substance abuse fight.

It is a shame we must wonder whether there are other researchers out there working toward a foil for whatever substance comes in the next wave, replacing meth at the top; but in the meantime, we are grateful researchers like Dwoskin and Bardo are on the case.