Drugs vs drugs
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DRUGS VS DRUGS!. Tristram Jones, Ph.D. PS375 Kaplan University Unit VI. GLOOM & DOOM.

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Drugs vs drugs


Tristram Jones, Ph.D.

PS375 Kaplan University Unit VI

Gloom doom


  • Vaillant (1983) found a 95 percent relapse rate among a group of alcoholics followed for 8 years after treatment at a public hospital; and over a 4-year follow-up period, the Rand Corporation found that only 7 percent of a treated alcoholic population abstained completely (Polich, Armor, & Braiker, 1981).

Some other encouraging figures

Some other encouraging figures:

  • Meth'srelapserateis 92%

  • Cocaine/crack between 92 and 99%

  • Typical heroin recovery program has cure rates as low as five percent. 95 percent of heroin- addicted individuals who have been through rehabilitation programs relapse.

  • Spontaneous remission=5%

Consider how we measure these phenomena it s almost impossible

Consider how we measure these phenomena—it’s almost impossible!

Okay…that was a slip, not a relapse, and he had to have more than 8 ounces a week or it was a statistical non-event, and besides he was sober for 6 months by self report and there wasn’t visible organic damage until 2007, but that was a biologic!

But it s pretty clear that something isn t working too well

But it’s pretty clear that something isn’t working too well!

So what about doing something medical after all it s a disease

So what about doing something MEDICAL? After all, it’s a DISEASE!

  • FIRST CAME “ANTABUSE” (Disulfiram)

The cure can kill you

“The Cure” can kill you! 

Actually even before antabuse

Actually, even before Antabuse…

  • In the 1950s and 1960s drugs like LSD were used experimentally in an attempt to treat alcoholism and other addictions.


And in the late 60s doctors were certain they had cured alcoholism

And in the late ’60s doctors were certain they had cured alcoholism!

  • “I quit drinking and was put on Adderall shortly after (not as a cure for alcoholism), and I honestly never have a craving for alcohol now. I don't even think about getting wasted anymore, because since my Adderall helps me think so much clearer.”

So how about naltrexone

So how about NALTREXONE?

  • When an opiate antagonist like naltrexone is administered, drinking decreases the desire for alcohol because of naltrexone's interference with the brain's reward system.


    Several studies, notably one at Yale one at one at the University of Texas and one in Finland say

    it’s a flop. But DuPont loved it!

Then there s methadone

Then there’s METHADONE!

  • Invented in Nazi Germany as a substitute for Morphine.

But there are a few bugs to work out

But there are a few bugs to work out!

  • Between 1999 and 2005, deaths that had methadone listed as a contributor increased nearly fivefold, to 4,462, a number that federal statisticians say is understated since states do not always specify the drugs in overdoses.

  • Withdrawal from methadone is similar to withdrawal from opiates or heroin, but is slower and more prolonged.

Acamprosate stats

Acamprosate Stats



  • Suboxone is addictive as are Subutex and methadone. Opiate replacement drugs are on the market because the relapse rate is so high for opiate users. Legal opiate replacement drugs are said to be better for the user. You CAN overdose on these drugs.

Drugs vs drugs

So what drugs would you consider legitimate in fighting drug addiction? Any? All? And what’s your rationale?

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