Naloxone May Be Used To Fight Gambling Addiction
In our blogs, we have reported many times about the benefits of Naloxone and how it is helping to fight the nation’s opioid crisis. A simple nasal spray, naloxone is commonly used in emergency overdose situations and works instantaneously (by blocking the production of dopamine). Now, researchers in Finland are testing is usefulness with problem gamblers and finding some interesting results.
Dopamine and impulse behavior are a common link between the two addictions. And as Helsinki National Institute researcher Hannu Alho told The Guardian, naloxone’s fast acting agents are the crucial factors behind these tests.
“Gambling is a very impulsive behavior. The need to gamble starts right away,” Alho explained. “For this reason we are seeking a medication with a quick effect. The nasal spray acts in just a few minutes. Naloxone goes to the brain in a few minutes so it’s very useful for a gambler. If you crave gambling, just take the spray.”
In theory, it does sound like a plausible test case. But Alho added that many future tests are needed to determine naloxone’s true effectiveness in the gambling community. He said that previously, their research firm attempted to treat compulsive betting with pills containing similar substances and did see a level of success.
Currently, the Institute is gathering 13o volunteers to conduct their research. All would admittedly be dealing with a gambling problem (which, for the record, accounted for millions of Finnish citizens last year). Half would be given naloxone as a treatment and half would be given a placebo. Observations and tests would be run throughout, determining the effectiveness of the spray.
Though it will take several months to get definitive answers, we are glad that gambling addiction is making its way to the headlines again. Now, in particular, is a very dangerous time for anyone battling these impulses. With the NFL Playoffs underway and the Super Bowl around the corner, temptation to place bets is at all-time high.
We strongly encourage anyone struggling with compulsive gambling behavior to reach out and seek treatment immediately. Losing big during sports, tables or what have you can be a devastating experience and quickly lead to a downward spiral. If you or someone close to you is battling an addiction like this, do not hesitate to give us a call. 866-986-2486