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Old 02.19.2010, 07:22 PM   #1
ni'k
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seems it may be possible soon.

http://thetyee.ca/News/2006/06/01/RewiringTheBrain/
Blocking addiction upstream
New research published in Neuron by a team at the University of California looked at how orexin triggers the brain circuitry that increases arousal and gets you craving good things like food and water. This circuitry is upstream from the pleasure pay-off of dopamine. It is the craving before the feel-good.
Craving is a big part of addiction, so researchers looked at whether orexin is playing a part in wiring addiction.
The University of California team knew that when you give doses of cocaine to rats over time, the rats respond with higher and higher levels of physical activity. "You give [the drug] over five days and the animals run around more and more," Dr. Stephanie Borgland, the primary author of the research, told The Tyee.
This running around is more than an immediate reaction to the drug. It is an escalating expression of dependency and craving that models features of addiction in humans. In short, it is observable evidence of the addiction circuitry.
Researchers call this process "sensitization" to the drug.
This sensitization circuitry remains in place long after the drugs are no longer in the body -- part of the reason that an addict, even after laying off drugs for a long time, can be hooked again with a single dose.
But this sensitization won't occur if, at the beginning of cocaine use and throughout, the same brain is also dosed with a chemical that blocks the flow of orexin.
Borgland's research team came to this conclusion after giving regular doses of cocaine to two sets of rats. One group also received an orexin blocker, delivered through a tube directly to their brains.
Rats that received the orexin blocker before each cocaine injection did not develop a sensitization to cocaine.
The researchers conclude that blocking the activity of orexin in the brain when cocaine exposure was started prevented cocaine from wiring addictive behaviour into the brains of the rats.
The findings raise some interesting questions that would have to be addressed if therapeutics based on this research were developed for humans.
What if we were able to develop a "blocker" that allowed people to take highly pleasurable drugs like cocaine without becoming addicted?
Would more people use cocaine, which has other bad health effects?
Would an addiction blocker make the prescription of addictive medical narcotics, like codeine and oxycotin, less risky?
How would such a "blocker" change our society's relationship with currently addictive drugs?
Reversing addiction?
The University of California experiment with an orexin blocker points towards a way to prevent the wiring of the brain for addiction. But orexin blockers would not be able to fix rewiring once it occurred; they could help you from getting addicted, but once you were hooked they wouldn't help.
How, then, might addiction get wired out of the brain? That is the question being pursued by a research team out of UBC. And they may be on the verge of an answer.
"[Our research] is aimed at restoring the connections in the brain that may have existed before the exposure to the addictive substances," said Dr. Karen Brebner, neuroscientist and co-author of research recently published in Science.
The UBC research team thought that addiction could get wired in the brain just like a normal memory would be. So they took their knowledge of how memory works in the brain and applied it to the same behavioural test that was used in the orexin study.
"We found that blocking one type of rewiring in normal memory formation also plays a role in the formation of rewiring in drug addiction," said Dr. Tak Pan Wong, co-author and researcher at UBC's Brain Research Centre.
The UBC team noted that one way memories come into being is when neurons change their firing to a slow and steady pulse to alter circuitry in the brain. The UBC team made a very, very small protein fragment that prevents the change in rate of firing and thus blocks the formation of a circuit that could form a memory. The researchers tried their memory-blocking protein on mice that had been getting injections of amphetamine.
The UBC team believes it worked as they had hoped. The mice "looked like animals that were receiving the drug for the first time," said Dr. Brebner.
The protein made mice that were like addicts behave like mice that never had amphetamine before. When the signalling that was responsible for reinforcing the addictive behaviour was shut down, the addictive "memory" was erased. Which means that the protein that the UBC team made could potentially reset the wiring in the brain that is responsible for the cravings that remain long after the drugs are gone.
Decades away?
Medications based on blocking orexin might be available to people within a few years since drugs working on the pathway are already being tested in humans with sleeping disorders.
However, addiction reversal therapies based on the UBC research are going to be a much longer wait. Researchers don't expect to see human applications for at least 15 to 20 years.
Resetting the addicted brain to a non-addicted state could help a lot of people get off destructive drugs and stay clean.
Currently there is very little that medicine can offer addicts, other than dulling the chemical rush or treating the symptoms of withdrawal. Just ask Mike. No medical treatments helped him kick drugs. Now middle aged, Mike has been clean for seven years. His struggle with addiction started in his teens with cocaine and then moved to heroin once he came to Vancouver.
Withdrawal was hell. "It's like your worst flu times 50," said Mike. He didn't sleep for a month. He lay in his bunk at the recovery house and watched a traffic light change colour while his bones ached and his body cried out for heroin.
Mike has heard about medications that block cravings before, but he is not optimistic.
"I think that if you don't get it right in your heart and realize that you need to make a change...then you will never, ever get well," said Mike. "What works is getting honest and actually looking at the problem and realizing and shedding any reservations you might have."
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headscratching stuff... i can imagine a debate in a few years - similar to the teenage contraceptive stuff - parents giving their kids orexin blockers so that if they do start doing drugs they won't get addicted.
but what would it be like to be on this stuff and do drugs without getting addicted to them? how different would the come downs be? possibly there could be a danger in that you might not notice the bad affects as much... but at the same time you wouldn't get cravings so you'd have a feeling of confidence and license, safe in the knowledge you wouldn't get addicted... weird.
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Old 02.19.2010, 07:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie
I'd be up for an addict that you could get into but didn't have to drug to abuse.

fixed.
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Old 02.19.2010, 07:47 PM   #3
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i don't want to make this another "im off drugs" thread... but i really went through SHIT trying to get completly clean. ive drank maybe 8 times since jan 09 (9 times too many), and only had one other drug on one occasion... but it was fucking hard getting from were i was to were i am now. i basically had to loose every friend i had, cos they were all drug buddies. it's sad watching them descend... we are all between the ages of 18-20something now, and when i see those guys i know thats it for them, they'll spend the rest of their lives in this shitty little town on drugs or alcoholics. but you can't let people like that drag you down, because they will, and they hate it if you show any sign of doing anything with yourself, they want you as mediocre as they are. it's not really an ethical failing on their part, its just their desire to do drugs with friends. i do feel bad for telling everyone to fuck off and just stopping speaking to them but i didn't know any other way.

but when i look back over the past almost a year of sobreity, i really did NOTHING at all. i mean if you take away getting sober i accomplished NOTHING this year, wrote very little, not really creative at all... altho as i type im thinking and i've probably done more than i give myself credit for.

but it's been absolute hell, even when you do get sober and start working to rebuild your life. it doesn't get better all of a sudden, it's still shit. you're still bored and depressed, you basically rot and stagnate, you're utter lazy with no energy, you spend most of your time angry with yourself trying to repress the urge to go party, you sit doing nothing watching tv you hate, listening to music you don't like... eating junk and basically just staying numb and quiet.

i still have some nostalgia for the days of old, when i would get 3 grams of coke, 2 bottles of kick, a bottle of vodka, beer, cider, a bag of homegrown superskunk, a 50gram of tobbacco and some sweets just to start off the night.

but there's also the times you wake up basically paralyzed with your face puffed up and retarded looking and can't move far enough to get out of the room and go phone an ambulance.

the thing i've learned is that you need to take a really strictly materialist approach to it - it is NOT some sort of moral failing. any of these preachy anti drugs cunts WOULD DO EXACTLY THE SAME if the release of dopamine in their brains depended on it. but when you are approaching it from your own perspective, you have to go through a lot of confusion and soul searching, there's nothing rational about it.
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Old 02.19.2010, 07:55 PM   #4
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I'm sorry if I've been a cunt to you in the past.

when you were on drugs and stealing rent money to get high, you were pretty insane on the board.

since then, you've started making sense.

stay off them please. I'm sure that it has been extremely difficult, but on this side it seems to be worth it.
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Old 02.19.2010, 11:35 PM   #5
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what if you could take excessive amounts of drugs and not die

would you shoot more heroin than anyone ever
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Old 02.20.2010, 02:21 AM   #6
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maybe
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Old 02.20.2010, 03:06 AM   #7
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i'd rather they were free than non-addictive
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Old 02.20.2010, 03:16 AM   #8
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I'd rather there were a drug to counteract pot culture.
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Old 02.20.2010, 03:35 AM   #9
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Drugs have kept me productive and energetic, so it's hard for me to quit... plus, I kinda want to die anyway.
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Old 02.20.2010, 05:51 AM   #10
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You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to atsonicpark again.
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Old 02.20.2010, 12:20 PM   #11
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the question asked in this thread's title is unanswerable.

the logic path cycles into an ouroboros effect.

you see, even without the complex biochemical reaction that makes yr "whole body" want drugs, if you enjoy the experience, you will want to do it again (and again and again).

no amount of rehab and lectures telling you about "how much better yr life will be" will break the chain for you. the individual must command their mind to do it.

no amount of post-rehab group sessions extolling God's power can save you. because, even if God wasn't half-asleep, the procedure would still require personal will against the tempting whispers.

if you enjoy drugs more than you should, and you do not wish for them to eventually consume you, you must make the conscious decision not to do them.

that said, I know that my own organ grinding capuchins should find another home, but they're cheap to feed and damn if they don't make lovely music.

I suppose if they were apes, they wouldn't be so cute.
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Old 02.20.2010, 12:22 PM   #12
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what he said^
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Old 02.20.2010, 03:09 PM   #13
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what the fuck is the point of a non-addictive drug? Honestly? They're taking the fun out if it. Neurochemical blockers are like the ANTIDOTE to the delightful high of most drugs.
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Old 02.20.2010, 07:45 PM   #14
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For a variety of reasons, I'd snot coke if I could afford it.
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Old 02.20.2010, 07:46 PM   #15
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Shit, I mean snort.
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Old 02.20.2010, 08:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davenotdead
maybe


haha i was so drunk when i wrote that
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Old 02.21.2010, 01:17 PM   #17
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not get addicted? sounds boring.
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Old 02.21.2010, 01:19 PM   #18
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Old 02.22.2010, 03:52 AM   #19
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The same drugs that I already take that may well one day get me addicted again.
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Old 02.22.2010, 03:53 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by automatic bzooty
what if you could take excessive amounts of drugs and not die

would you shoot more heroin than anyone ever

I think this question is more worthwhile.

and hell yes. sadly, hell yes.
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