Medication May Help Addicts Quit Marijuana
The Scripts Research Institute has just published findings which indicate that the medication gabapentin, typically used for seizures and neuropathic pain, has proven to be effective for addicts who are quitting marijuana. Psychological symptoms that are experienced from stopping marijuana use are: sleeplessness, impulse control issues, lack of focus/concentration and anxiety. Gabapentin seems to decrease and eliminate some of these symptoms decreasing chances of relapse within the initial stages of treatment.
Researchers published a request, in application form, for those who want to quit marijuana and participate in their study. They needed at least 50 people for their study but over 700 addicts responded. This overwhelming out pour of addict volunteers confirms that marijuana dependence is difficult to stop. In this study, 25 addicts received gabapentin while the other 25 addicts received the placebo pill. Over a 12-week period, the addicts were monitored with urine tests, paper testing and interviews. Attention, impulse control and other cognitive functioning tests were given to both groups. Findings suggested that the gabapentin group scored higher than the placebo group in these areas.
Marijuana substance abuse has a negative impact on cognitive functioning, which causes increased stress during the day. Eliminating the deficits in cognitive functioning, such as poor concentration, can also decrease stress and decrease the chances of a relapse. It seems that the psychological symptoms perpetuate the cycle of addiction and marijuana which is used to alleviate symptoms actually creates them too.