Can Stress Hormone Help Fight Heroin Addiction?

translpsychIn the ongoing quest for scientific and medical research for improved treatments for addiction, a potential new discovery has been made. Recently, a small study in Switzerland found that the stress hormone cortisol reduced heroin cravings by an average of 25%.

“Cortisol could be useful in treating addiction. At this point, however, the present study is a proof of concept that cortisol has an influence on craving. A potential clinical relevance has to be tested in further studies,” co–lead investigator Dominique de Quervain, MD, director of the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, at the University of Basel, in Switzerland, told Medscape Medical News.

The study seemed to have limited application initially, as the administration of the chemical only worked in patients with a lower level of heroin consumption. However, as it points out, there are indications that the use has merit and warrants further research. Details of the study appear in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

While it is possible that a single daily dose of cortisol could be used to help prevent relapse, it is just one of many new treatments being studied. There is a huge emphasis on heroin addiction treatment both inside the United States and around the world, primarily due to the surge in use and subsequent loss of life from the drug. At this point, anything that shows promise in being able to preserve life and restore people to good health can be considered as a potential aid in recovery.

If you or someone you love is addicted to heroin, contact Addiction Treatment Services today to find out more about rehabilitation programs that can help.