Epilepsy Drug Could Help Pot Smokers Quit | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Epilepsy Drug Could Help Pot Smokers Quit

An anticonvulsant might help wean you off the weed, by targeting stress systems in your brain.

Image: 

A drug to blunt your cravings. Photo via

By Valerie Tejeda

04/25/12

| Share

The anticonvulsant drug gabapentinused to treat epilepsy and neuropathic painmay help pot smokers kick the habit. Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute tested 50 cannabis users who were seeking treatment, in a 12-week trial. The studypublished in the journal Neuropsychopharmacologyshowed that those who used gabapentin smoked less pot, and experienced fewer withdrawal symptoms such as sleeplessness, drug cravings, and dysphoria. They also scored higher on tests of attention, impulse-control, and other cognitive skills, when compared to those given a placebo. Addiction research has shown that excessive drug use can weaken impulse control through over-activation of reward-circuitry in the brain; compounded by the stress of withdrawal, this can make it difficult for regular pot smokers to quit. "That weakening of self-control-related circuits makes it even harder for people to resist drug cravings when they're trying to quit, but gabapentin may help restore those circuits, by reducing stress and enabling patients to sleep better, so that they function better while awake," said study author Barbara J. Mason. If confirmed in later trials, gabapentin would be the first drug approved by the FDA for treatment of marijuana dependence. "A lot of other drugs have been tested for their ability to decrease cannabis use and withdrawal, but this is the first to show these key effects in a controlled treatment study," said Mason. "The other nice thing about gabapentin is that it is already widely prescribed, so its safety is less likely to be an issue." 

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv