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The love drug that could draw people away from any addiction

The love drug that could draw people away from any addiction

作者:双翟  时间:2019-03-01 07:07:11  人气:

Patryk Hardziej By Alice Klein JOSEPH SHARP remembers the first time he injected methamphetamine. “It shot up like a geyser into my brain and I actually spluttered aloud, involuntarily, ‘I want to do this every day for the rest of my life’,” he says. “It was like the euphoric feeling of being madly in love.” Sharp first used the drug – also known as crystal meth or ice – to lower his inhibitions and make him “super social”. Having recently moved to Los Angeles to become a screenwriter, he was eager to make friends. But as addiction took hold, he gradually withdrew from those close to him. “In the end, it was just me alone in a room with a needle in my arm,” Sharp says. “Talk about social.” This story sounds familiar to Iain McGregor at the University of Sydney, who has been studying substance abuse for over 25 years. One of the hallmarks of addiction is a waning interest in human contact and a growing fixation on seeking out the vice – be it alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, prescription opioids, nicotine or any other addictive substance. A decade ago, this observation gave McGregor an idea. Would it be possible to reverse substance addiction by switching the brain back from drug-chasing mode to social mode? If McGregor’s hunch was right, this could be the silver bullet – a universal treatment for all addictions at once. It was worth a shot. Alcohol, tobacco and illicit substances are implicated in 13 per cent of global deaths each year. Prescription opioids are adding to this crisis. In 2016, in the US alone,