When smoked, crystal meth rapidly achieves high concentrations in the brain without the burdens of the intravenous route. Kish reviews the actions of methamphetamine and explains the potential role of dopamine in methamphetamine craving.
The author states that there is no medication approved for the treatment of relapses of methamphetamine addiction, but potential therapeutic agents targeted to dopamine and non-dopamine systems are in clinical testing.
"Research into the pharmacologic treatment of methamphetamine addiction has largely been limited to studies in animals," states Kish. "Although animal studies are essential to the development of new medications, given the public health importance of this worldwide problem and the existence of potential drug targets, it is obvious that the very slow pace of clinical testing of new therapies in methamphetamine addiction needs to be accelerated."
Prevention, treatment, enforcement and harm reduction form the 4 pillars of the York Region's strategy to combat methamphetamine. In their article, Cronkwright, Kirkos and colleagues recognize that criminal behavior is only one element in the production and use of methamphetamine, and they identify elected officials, school boards, the courts, at-risk communities and private industry as key stakeholders in the strategy.
- Kish, Stephen J., PhD. Pharmacologic mechanisms of crystal meth. CMAJ, 2008 178: 1679-1682 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.071675
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