The Daily Mail reports that Dutch researchers have isolated a protein, which happens to be a dopamine transporter, that could potentially revolutionize cocaine rehabilitation treatment. Presently, there are no synthetic medicines, like methadone (for opiate drugs) that are able to combat cocaine addiction directly. This new synthetic treatment would work similarly to methadone. Although, the same dangers of becoming addicted to the synthetic medicine may be a shared risk between methadone treatments and the new cocaine drug (not yet created).
Associate professor Claus Juul Loland who works in the department of neuroscience and pharmacology warned that the new medicine would not be a “wonder drug” and would not prove effective without cocaine rehabilitation treatment. he says, “if we have a better understanding of the dopamine transporter function we will become more proficient in developing an antidote against cocaine addiction.”
The medication in development would seek to inhibit the high drug users would experience upon taking the illegal substance, much like methadone. Working like a vortex, the medication would block any sense of fulfillment or reward that cocaine would typically induce. Conversely, the proposed drug would not address the psychological dependance of cocaine; cocaine rehabilitation treatment would need to be coupled with the administration with the new drug to avoid relapses after rehabilitation treatment. This medication is similar to the heroin and methamphetamine vaccine that is still awaiting funding- although both synthetic medicines attempt to resolve drug abuse, neither project has had the opportunity to fully manifest itself.