County taking part in marijuana study

Ben Robinson/Courier

Pictured, from left, are Behavioral Health Services of Pickens County research liaison Margaret Garrett, research director Elizabeth Chapman and study physician Dr. Amanda Flynn.

By Ben Robinson, Courier Staff

COUNTY — Pickens County will be part of a national study on treatment of those using marijuana.

The study involves using N-acetylcysteine (NAC) as a treatment. The clinical trial involves NAC and a placebo in a 12-week outpatient treatment program that includes medical counseling and motivational incentives, targeting marijuana abstinence.

NAC is most often medically used as a treatment for acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose and for pulmonary conditions, but is also available as an over-the-counter supplement.



Prior research indicates that NAC restores brain glutamate levels that are disrupted by substance addiction. Based on this research and on findings from an adolescent trial at the Medical University of South Carolina, it is believed that NAC is a promising candidate for the treatment of marijuana dependence, a condition for which there is no established Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medication treatment. The current trial, sponsored by the VIDA Clinical Trials Network, is designed to systematically access the efficiency of VAC as a marijuana cessation medication treatment for marijuana dependant adults.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is interested in enhancing treatments and improving outcomes in this important health area.

Other similar trials on marijuana dependent adults include APT Foundation Inc. (New Haven, Conn.), CODA Inc. (Portland, Ore.), UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, (Los Angeles), University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ken.) and University of Texas Health Center at San Antonio.

Behavioral Health Services is looking for people who are currently involved in marijuana smoking who would like to cut back or quit.

Marijuana use is not as addictive as alcohol use, but it can be as severe.

For more information on becoming a part of the study, call (864) 898-5800.

Participants will receive minor financial awards for being part of the study.