Generic addiction drugs regain spotlight

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Santa Ana, CA, United States (4E) – A new study saying only 10 percent of alcoholics were prescribed medications to curb their drinking addiction has brought back two drugs for sobering to the spotlight.

The study on the treatment of 23,000 alcohol dependents published on May 14 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that naltrexone and acamprosate were more effective than other drugs in keeping alcoholics sober and both helped keep relapse period short.

However, few health care practitioners are aware that the drugs exist, according to Dr. Raye Litten, associate director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Division of Treatment and Recovery Research.

“People just don’t know about it,” Litten told The Fix. “Many primary care just don’t know about this.”

MedlinePlus describes acamprosate as an alcohol craving inhibitor and corrective drug. The website explains that the drug changes the brain’s mechanism to prevent a person from drinking alcohol again, though it doesn’t prevent withdrawal symptoms from drinking cessation.

Acamprosate, which is more commonly known under the brand name Campral, works by preventing the transmission of a neurotransmitter called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), which plays a role in inducing alcohol cravings, according to MedlinePlus. Acamprosate successfully limits drinking frequency and is more effective with psychotherapy or combination therapy with naltrexone or disulfiram, an alcohol aversion drug that causes uncomfortable side-effects for the alcoholic when he or she drinks.

Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist, which blocks the euphoric high that addicts get from alcohol and opioid intake. The drug is also known under the brand names Vivitrol and ReVia, which usually comes in tablet form. But biotechnology firm BioCorRx Inc. (OTCQX: BICX) has given the drug a new emphasis amid the continuing alcohol addiction epidemic by using it in its innovative rehab program.

BioCorRx uses naltrexone in an implant form for its Start Fresh Program for alcoholics. The biodegradable, time-release implant is embedded under the patient’s skin and slowly releases naltrexone into the patient’s bloodstream.

BioCorRx Inc. is a leader in addiction rehabilitation in the United States. The company established a name in the alcohol addiction rehabilitation niche following the success of its Start Fresh Program. Since 2013, the company has licensed rehabilitation clinics in Atlanta, Georgia; Washington D.C.; Maryland; Virginia; Norfolk, Connecticut; and San Francisco, California to offer the program.

Recently, Dr. George Fallieras, medical director of Start Fresh Recovery, appeared on the hit TV show, The Doctors, along with a patient-turned-life coach, former Growing Pains star Jeremy Miller, to discuss how the Start Fresh Program works and how naltrexone is a crucial part of the program.

“BioCorRx Inc. will continue to position its Start Fresh Program as a leader in treating alcohol and opioid addiction,” said its chief financial officer, Lourdes Felix, in a phone interview with SmallCapVoice last week. “We are expecting to double clinics offering the Start Fresh Program under the new business model by the end of this year.”

BioCorRx chief operations officer Brady Grainer said the new Start Fresh Program clinic in Atlanta will be opening in July while clinics in San Francisco and Fresno open next week. Grainer added that the company is working out the licensing of the program in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Minnesota.

BioCorRx Inc. is a leader in addiction rehabilitation in the United States. It became a name in alcohol rehabilitation through its two-step program called Start Fresh, which has seen tremendous success in curbing alcohol cravings in patients. This year, the company announced its plans to enter the $23-billion opioid addiction rehabilitation market as well.

Start Fresh Program utilizes psycho-social coaching and the administration of a biodegradable implant that slowly releases Naltrexone, a generic drug that has been proven effective in preventing alcoholics and opioid addicts from feeling a euphoric high from cravings. This euphoric high, more often than not, leads alcoholics to relapse.

The Naltrexone implant is embedded surgically under a layer of fat in the patient’s lower abdominal section. The procedure is performed by a physician.

Clinics who have been using the Start Fresh Program have reported an 85% sobriety success rate in patients who have completed the six to eight month rehabilitation program.

Naltrexone is finally gaining attention after several media reports have surfaced about the underestimated and unreported efficacy of the drug in preventing alcoholics from returning to their old ways.

“It’s a very old drug that really works well,” Grainier said in the SmallCapVoice interview. “Traditional media is now starting to talk about naltrexone. People are starting to see our efforts.”

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