An innovative method of removing toxins from the body was created by a team of researchers led by Dr. Hab. engineer Przemysław Jodłowski from the Krakow University of Technology. The idea of Polish scientists may revolutionize the treatment of people addicted to psychoactive substances. The results of preliminary analyzes are very promising.
Addiction to psychoactive substances is a problem that mainly affects young people between 15 and 34 years of age. One of the most frequently used drugs is mephedrone, a stimulant with an effect similar to amphetamine or ecstasy. It was officially banned in 2010. However, it can be purchased on the so-called black market. Taking the compound poses a serious threat to health and life. The number of deaths caused by overdoses of this drug is increasing.
The first stage in the treatment of people addicted to mephedrone or other psychoactive substances is detoxification of the body. It involves flushing harmful compounds from the body using specialized agents administered intravenously. However, removing toxins too quickly has many negative consequences. It increases the likelihood of arrhythmias and epilepsy attacks.
An innovative way to safely detoxify the body
Scientists from the Krakow University of Technology were looking for an answer to the question: what to do to reduce the risks associated with detoxification of the body. “Our idea is to use organometallic networks to remove drugs from the body. Thanks to their characteristics, a sudden reaction of the body to the administration of the antidote can be avoided,” explains Dr. Hab. engineer Przemysław Jodłowski, research manager. Organometallic networks are substances composed of metal ions and organic atoms. These materials are widely used in various fields of science, including medicine. They are used, among others, for body imaging using computed tomography.
Polish specialists have discovered that organometallic networks can serve as carriers of beta blockers (medicines used in the body’s detoxification process). This would allow for a slower and therefore safer release of the drug while increasing its effectiveness. It should be noted that when detoxifying the body using “classic” methods, significant amounts of beta blockers are “wasted”. They do not enter the bloodstream. The liver metabolizes them and removes them from the body.
Experts intend to continue working on the proposed method of detoxifying the body. They want to develop it, improve it and introduce it into common use. The final stage of the work is to create a drug that would improve the treatment process for people addicted to mephedrone or other psychoactive substances.
How does addiction to psychoactive substances manifest itself?
One of the most important symptoms of addiction to psychoactive substances is a strong, uncontrollable desire to take a stimulant. The patient feels physical and mental “hunger” and strives to satisfy it at all costs. At the same time, the body’s tolerance to a given compound increases. The patient must therefore use increasing amounts of the drug to achieve the desired state of arousal. He loses control over his behavior. Neglects daily duties and relationships with the environment. His thoughts are occupied with only one goal: to acquire another plot of land. Nothing else matters.
How to recognize addiction in a loved one? The first alarm signal should be sudden changes in her behavior – from lethargy to excitement. You should also pay attention to dilated pupils, speech disorders and motor coordination disorders. It is worth remembering that an addicted person usually does not admit to having a problem. He minimizes the difficulties he experiences and blames others for his problems. Treating addiction is a difficult process in which many specialists (psychiatrists, psychotherapists, etc.) participate.