This medical video looks at the breakthrough that are being made to help people with addiction problems.
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Jennifer Matthews: These are the talented hands of a budding 23-year-old artist, but his life is not picture perfect. Jack who asked us to conceal his identity comes to this treatment center to kick his cocaine habit. Jack: I see things, smell things that would kick up craving and I start to think about, I tried to rationalize to myself, how you could go high again. Jennifer Matthews: Those cravings made quitting nearly impossible for the more than three million cocaine addicts in America, but researchers hope this drug could soon help. It's called GVG, gamma vinyl-GABA. It goes by the name Sabril in Europe where it's widely used for pediatric epilepsy. In the first human trial on addiction, the drug was given to heavy cocaine users. Dr. Jonathan Brodie: The craving for the drug, and the reward, the high that one gets when one uses a drug, both seems to be blocked by this drug. Jennifer Matthews: Dr. Jonathan Brodie helped conduct this study in Mexico, because the drug is not approved for use in the US even in epilepsy patients for whom it was designed. It was never approved in the US, because they were reports of vision problems, but Dr. Brodie says the risk maybe worth a benefit. Dr. Jonathan Brodie: The amount of drug that appears to be adequate to stop addiction is a small fraction of that amount that would be necessary to produce those side effects. Jennifer Matthews: Jack says he would have taken the risk to end his addiction. Jack: It might have made things easier for me. Jennifer Matthews: But for now, he'll have to learn stay clean with old-fashioned therapy. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.