Marijuana, Cocaine Share Brain Targets

Marijuana, Cocaine Share Brain Targets
Posted by FoM on October 04, 2001 at 09:06:08 PT
By Will Boggs, MD
Source: Reuters
The same brain cell targets that respond to marijuana are involved in the craving faced by cocaine addicts trying to quit, scientists say. The finding may help doctors come up with ways stop cocaine addiction, according to researchers from the Netherlands and the US National Institute on Drug Abuse.Dr. Taco De Vries from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and associates studied the role of the cannabinoid system--the parts of the brain involved in our response to marijuana--to determine whether marijuana-like drugs or their inactive mimics would affect cocaine-seeking behavior in rats.
SR141716A, a marijuana mimic that blocks the cannabinoid targets in the brain, significantly blocked cocaine-seeking behavior brought on by re-exposure to cocaine and by re-exposure to the cues associated with cocaine use, the investigators found.The mimic did not, however, reduce the cocaine-seeking behavior brought on by stress, according to the report in the October issue of Nature Medicine.In contrast, the researchers note, HU210 (a marijuana-like drug) actually caused a return of cocaine-seeking behavior."The biggest problem of a drug addict is not the fact that he is taking drugs, but what happens if he is not taking the drug--when he or she feels the urge to take drugs," De Vries told Reuters Health."In our opinion," De Vries added, "medication should be directed to control the drug-seeking part and not drug-taking part of this behavior."But so far there is no such effective medication."Even though there are many social and psychological factors that can facilitate relapse, an agent that 'takes the edge off' craving would provide an invaluable complement to behavioral therapy and psychotherapy," adds Dr. Danielle Piomelli from University of California, Irvine, in a related commentary."By unraveling the mechanisms in the brain that play a role in the persistence of drug-seeking behavior, we will be able to develop medication that may cure drug addicts," De Vries said.Source: Nature Medicine 2001;10:1099-1100, 1151-1154.Source: Reuters HealthAuthor: Will Boggs, MDPublished: October 3, 2001Copyright: 2001 Reuters HealthRelated Article & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links Could Help Cocaine Addicts Kick Habit Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #9 posted by Leefmyner on October 05, 2001 at 07:39:57 PT:
And Tobacco Addiction?
Imagine the impact on public health if they could find a drug that was similarly effective with tobacco. I know there's wellbutrin, but something more effective is needed.
Isn't it interesting that no one is looking for a cure for pot addiction? If only the government were more scentific.
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Comment #8 posted by freedom fighter on October 05, 2001 at 00:56:52 PT
Thanks toker00
it means alot to me my friend..Toke on my friend, I just know you will enjoy it more..Time is matter of time, my time will come..I gotta love you my bro..\/
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Comment #7 posted by Toker00 on October 04, 2001 at 21:05:58 PT
I'll toke one for you, bro. And your two cents are FAR from stupid. Replaced alcohol, subdued smoking, stopped taking mild anti-depressants. Give me Cannabis any day, every day.Peace. Realize, then Legalize.
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Comment #6 posted by freedom fighter on October 04, 2001 at 20:33:57 PT
helped me quit my coke habit.. big time.. Started of smoking 2 ounces of cannabis, stopped my craving for coke. Wish I cud say the same for tobacco. At least it supressed my cigarettes habit..Since now I can not partake my favorite herb, tobacco intake increased. Just my 2 stupid cents..ff
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Comment #5 posted by Silent_Observer on October 04, 2001 at 16:17:39 PT
Taco de Vries?
Taco and fries? Somebody tell me this is a real name....
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Comment #4 posted by Cannabis Dave on October 04, 2001 at 15:43:47 PT
Cannabis can be an addiction treatment.
Cannbis has been used to treat addictions effectively in many cases. Alcoholism and opioid addictions respond favorably to cannabis therapy, so it seems logical that cocaine would too. What they have in common, is that they all stimulate the release of simular brain chemicals. Pot does it for me, and therefore my craving for junk, alcohol, cocaine etc. dissapear. They never even start as long as I medicate on cannabis. For me, my medical marijuana helps me avoid all those much more harmful substances. Taking drugs is normal - even many animals use drugs. To not use any drugs at all would be UNnatural (!), so lets be realistic about it. Cannabis is the least harmful of the recreational drugs used for cognitive therapy and sensual pleasure by people who would otherwise become addicted to more harmful substances in many cases. People ARE going to use drugs, and there will always be a supply of drugs while there is a demand. If we allow cannabis to be used, it would reduce the harm done to our society/culture by all those more destructive drugs. If we look at the statistics, it's obvious that tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drugs are what cause most of the damage to our society, but they are subsidized by our government! Insanity prevails - it's time to demand that our government change their paradigm!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 04, 2001 at 10:52:31 PT
I took Prozac for about 8 months or so and I had to stop. I think I was getting wackier then normal. I think you're right about needing to smoke more too.
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Comment #2 posted by 420toker on October 04, 2001 at 10:13:40 PT
I quit taking prozac because I had to smoke twice the amount to get half the effect. Dont know about coke but has anyone else noticed a simular effect.
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Comment #1 posted by BCG on October 04, 2001 at 09:30:45 PT
Fortuitous timing!
I will be traveling to several postdoctoral interviews this month. My research has been very directed at the environmetal cues that trigger cocaine seeking. This is the direction I would like to take my work, and with this, I have a strong bargaining chip to get resources to study what Muddy Waters sang about so long ago." smoking my reefer - wont need to mess 'round with no cocaine."Exciting times for THC research!
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