Study seeks meth addicts in Houston, hopes to find cure for addiction

- Meth addicts are being sought for a new study at U.T. Health which hopes to determine the effectiveness of a methamphetamine addiction treatment.

The drug, according to researchers, is a combination of Naltrexone and Bupropion. The combination is believed to block opiate and dopamine receptors in the brain, which could help users quit the highly-addictive drug.

"We are looking for individuals ages 18-60 who have been using methamphetamine at a pretty heavy, almost daily rate," said Dr. Joy Schmitz of the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth , who is leading the ADAPT-2 research study in Houston.

Meth is currently considered the number 2 drug threat in Houston, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Houston Police say they've had 342 methamphetamine related arrests and seized 227 kilos of the drug in 2017. While they say that is significantly lower than at this time in 2016, clinical experts say use of the drug has been on the rise for over a decade.

"When we look at the prevalence data there's higher rates of meth abuse and use going on in this area than there were maybe 10 years ago," said Dr. Schmitz, Ph.D.

Having received a $930,000 grant for the study, Dr. Schmitz' steam must now find 55 Houstonians willing to participate.

Participants will take part in treatment for 12 weeks, having bi-weekly meetings with research doctors to evaluate progress. All participants will be compensated.

"We have to start with these clinical trials," Dr. Schmitz explained. "In about 2 years or so, we'll be able to see whether we have a medication that can really benefit the large number of people who suffer from this type of addiction."

To learn more about the study, contact UTHealth's ADAPT-2 study team at (713) 486-2635 or ms.CNRAresearch@uth.tmc.edu

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