Naloxone May Be Solution to Gambling Problem
A commonly used anti-overdose medication, researchers believe could assist gamblers to overcome their problem in real-time. On Sunday it was announced by YLE UUtiset, a Finland media company, that the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) wants to observe the effects of a nasal spray called Narcan, which contains naloxone, on gamblers with a problem that feel the impulse to indulge.
A lot of attention has been focused on Naloxone in recent years, initially due to its part in reviving drug addicts that overdose on prescription pain relievers, heroine and fentanyl. Naloxone has been made available through local pharmacies to those with a drug addiction due to the drug crisis.
Previously a study of Naloxone was conducted on individuals with a gambling problem by a team of researchers from Finland. The research participants were given their medication by means of a pill, which showed the potential to curb the urge to indulge in gambling, but took an hour or longer to take effect. It is believed that the nasal spray will provide a more immediate effect.
THL is looking for 130 individuals with gambling problems to participate in their new three-month study, according to researcher Hannu Alho. It is hoped to start the trial later this month, with the outcome likely to only be published next year. Should the results of the trial be successful, Alho is hoping to treat alcoholics, as well with Naloxone.
Surveys conducted in Finland show that approximately 1.5% of the country’s population suffers from a tendency to overindulge in gambling.
The gambling monopoly of the Veikkaus state have recently acknowledged that they intend to implement plans that will finally require slot machine users to authenticate their identities for monitoring purposes.
The UK and Australia have both previously made efforts to decrease the gambling problem by treating gamblers with Naltrexone, a Methadone-like medication, which is used to assist heroin addicts with their withdrawal from their chosen narcotic.
Another study recently conducted proposes a form of treatment through so-called responsive neurostimulation devices, called deep-brain stimulation. This method could prove advantageous in preventing the urge to overstep responsible gambling boundaries in real-time.