Vigabatrin. An Epilepsy Drug That Eases Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms.

An old drug in a new light is offering hope for a better treatment protocol for cocaine abuse.Vigabatrin, a GABA modifying drug used in the treatment of epilepsy has been tested in small scale trials in Mexico on people that had been using cocaine daily for at least three years, and a substantial of these people were able to reduce their cocaine consumption significantly.

In response to the success of these earlier Mexican trials, Catalyst pharmaceuticals is testing it’s own version of vigabatrin, charismatically named CPP-109, and will be entering phase 2 clinical human trials later this summer. The drug shows great potential to increase the ability of addicts battling cocaine and other stimulant addiction to overcome cravings through a process of dopaminergic modification.

CPP-109 works by increasing the amount of GABA in the brain, and this surplus of GABA serves to reduce the effect of cocaine on dopamine in the brain. GABA will not allow for the production of as much dopamine in response to cocaine, and without the production of dopamine, cocaine has little effect. The drug is reported to be able to dramatically reduce the cravings as experienced by drug addicts in withdrawal, and as a result is able to increase the length of sobriety.

The Mexican studies have been previously criticized for their small sample size and their limited duration, so it will be interesting to see whether the results as reported in the Mexican studies will endure under a larger and more strictly controlled clinical trial. The clinical testing results are expected to be ready for publication by the summer of 2008.

This new drug seems to me to be very similar in some ways to the meth and cocaine vaccines in development. While the cocaine vaccines attack the cocaine while still in the blood, and do not allow it to get to the brain, and this drug simply renders the cocaine ineffective, they both allow for the lessening of the effects of ingested cocaine, and for a resultant lessening in tolerance and ultimate cravings.

Both seem very promising, and if either or both pass successfully through all stages of clinical trials and gain FDA approval, will be very welcome additions to the drug treatment arsenal. No one proposes that these drugs will be enough on their own to combat drug addiction, but when combined with existing psycho social and behavioral cognitive therapies, should greatly increases the effectiveness of our best treatments. An addiction to cocaine is notoriously difficult to overcome and any pharmaceutical assistance against the cravings involved in cocaine withdrawal will be very much appreciated by the estimated 1.5 million American cocaine addicts.

Find out more at this cocaine addiction treatment and recovery resource.

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An old drug in a new light is offering hope for a better treatment protocol for cocaine abuse.Vigabatrin, a GABA modifying drug used in the treatment of epilepsy has been tested in small scale trials in Mexico on people that had been using cocaine daily for at least three years, and a substantial of these people were able to reduce their cocaine consumption significantly.

In response to the success of these earlier Mexican trials, Catalyst pharmaceuticals is testing it’s own version of vigabatrin, charismatically named CPP-109, and will be entering phase 2 clinical human trials later this summer. The drug shows great potential to increase the ability of addicts battling cocaine and other stimulant addiction to overcome cravings through a process of dopaminergic modification.

CPP-109 works by increasing the amount of GABA in the brain, and this surplus of GABA serves to reduce the effect of cocaine on dopamine in the brain. GABA will not allow for the production of as much dopamine in response to cocaine, and without the production of dopamine, cocaine has little effect. The drug is reported to be able to dramatically reduce the cravings as experienced by drug addicts in withdrawal, and as a result is able to increase the length of sobriety.

The Mexican studies have been previously criticized for their small sample size and their limited duration, so it will be interesting to see whether the results as reported in the Mexican studies will endure under a larger and more strictly controlled clinical trial. The clinical testing results are expected to be ready for publication by the summer of 2008.

This new drug seems to me to be very similar in some ways to the meth and cocaine vaccines in development. While the cocaine vaccines attack the cocaine while still in the blood, and do not allow it to get to the brain, and this drug simply renders the cocaine ineffective, they both allow for the lessening of the effects of ingested cocaine, and for a resultant lessening in tolerance and ultimate cravings.

Both seem very promising, and if either or both pass successfully through all stages of clinical trials and gain FDA approval, will be very welcome additions to the drug treatment arsenal. No one proposes that these drugs will be enough on their own to combat drug addiction, but when combined with existing psycho social and behavioral cognitive therapies, should greatly increases the effectiveness of our best treatments. An addiction to cocaine is notoriously difficult to overcome and any pharmaceutical assistance against the cravings involved in cocaine withdrawal will be very much appreciated by the estimated 1.5 million American cocaine addicts.

Find out more at this cocaine addiction treatment and recovery resource.

One in Five men between the ages of 21-30 will buy alcohol for an underage stranger outside of a liquor store

I almost hesitate to write this, as it’s almost a how to manual for kids looking to buy alcohol, but as follows is very telling of our society and explains in part how easy it is for our kids to buy alcohol.

A University of Minnesota study looked at underage alcohol buying, and wanted to know just how easy it was for underage drinkers to secure alcohol by propositioning buyers about to enter a liquor store. The University researchers had under age looking subjects approach people about to enter a liquor store, and these subjects explained that they had forgotten their I.D. and asked the shopper to buy them a 6 pack of beer.

Researchers found that only 8% of the population when approached in this way would buy the beer for the subject, but when examining specific sub groups, it was found that males who appeared to be between the ages of 21 and 30, when approached had a 19% likelihood of buying the beer.

When almost one in five young men are willing to buy alcohol for underage strangers, it’s not surprising that our children seem to have little difficulty getting the alcohol they want.

So what’s to be done?

In addition to educating the public about the greater risks to teenagers who start drinking earlier, I think that we need to tackle this problem as an enforcement issue. It is currently against the law to buy alcohol for minors, but if one in five are willing to do it for a complete stranger outside of a liquor store, obviously the threat of penalty is no deterrent to the behavior.

If police actively enforced this illegal activity, and published both the consequences of this crime as well as publicized successful "sting" operations on adults willing to do it, I believe that our kids would be a lot safer from easy access to alcohol. It’s not the ultimate solution, but by making access more difficult, you might just save a few lives from dependency, and you’ll probably save a lot of young lives from the ultimate consequences of drunken driving.

If you’re approached…don’t buy it for them, you’re not doing them a favor by buying them beer, you’re doing them a favor by not. To law enforcement…please take this seriously, and please punish offenders and make the consequences well known. It may be perceived as a relatively innocuous crime, but in reality it’s anything but harmless.

I almost hesitate to write this, as it’s almost a how to manual for kids looking to buy alcohol, but as follows is very telling of our society and explains in part how easy it is for our kids to buy alcohol.

A University of Minnesota study looked at underage alcohol buying, and wanted to know just how easy it was for underage drinkers to secure alcohol by propositioning buyers about to enter a liquor store. The University researchers had under age looking subjects approach people about to enter a liquor store, and these subjects explained that they had forgotten their I.D. and asked the shopper to buy them a 6 pack of beer.

Researchers found that only 8% of the population when approached in this way would buy the beer for the subject, but when examining specific sub groups, it was found that males who appeared to be between the ages of 21 and 30, when approached had a 19% likelihood of buying the beer.

When almost one in five young men are willing to buy alcohol for underage strangers, it’s not surprising that our children seem to have little difficulty getting the alcohol they want.

So what’s to be done?

In addition to educating the public about the greater risks to teenagers who start drinking earlier, I think that we need to tackle this problem as an enforcement issue. It is currently against the law to buy alcohol for minors, but if one in five are willing to do it for a complete stranger outside of a liquor store, obviously the threat of penalty is no deterrent to the behavior.

If police actively enforced this illegal activity, and published both the consequences of this crime as well as publicized successful "sting" operations on adults willing to do it, I believe that our kids would be a lot safer from easy access to alcohol. It’s not the ultimate solution, but by making access more difficult, you might just save a few lives from dependency, and you’ll probably save a lot of young lives from the ultimate consequences of drunken driving.

If you’re approached…don’t buy it for them, you’re not doing them a favor by buying them beer, you’re doing them a favor by not. To law enforcement…please take this seriously, and please punish offenders and make the consequences well known. It may be perceived as a relatively innocuous crime, but in reality it’s anything but harmless.

Why alcohol makes us mean. Angry drunks explained.

Photo: Jan TikThere’s something in alcohol that makes all of us act just a little more belligerently and aggressively than we otherwise would, and for some people alcohol can even provoke physical violence.

But why, and why does a drug we take to feel good eventually so often end up creating feelings of anger and even behaviors of aggression?

To answer these questions University of Kentucky psychologist Peter Giancola took a look at drinking in a modeled experiment of aggression. Working from a theory that explains alcohol influenced violence occurring because when drunk, the parts of our brain that operate our working memory are significantly impaired; and we as a result are less able to focus on multiple environmental stimuli simultaneously.

What happens, so the theory postulates, is that we tend to focus only on provocative stimuli, while being unable to concurrently process other environmental stimuli that might calm or mitigate these perceived provocations.

A man may be at a bar and see someone "hitting on his girlfriend" and when drunk enough, may not recognize the other environmental factors that would clearly indicate that the man was actually, for example, an old friend, and he acts without an accurate perception of the reality in an aggressive manner.

Drinking and Electro Shocks

To clinically test this alcohol induced theory of aggression, Giancola performed experiments that combined electroshocks and Vodka! He gave some trial participants a number of alcoholic drinks, and others none, and he had the study volunteers face off against one another in a frustrating game task, where the loser received an electro shock of varying intensity from the winner.

As expected, the "drunk" participants consistently gave more intense electro shocks to their opponents than those who had not been drinking. To change the variables slightly, Giancola had the drunken participants also think about a complex mental task while playing the game and delivering the shocks, and found that while concentrating on something other than the game exclusively, the shocks delivered by the drunken participants were significantly less intense.

Giancola explains that by having the drunk game players concentrating on something other than the game and their opponents perceived aggression and provocation, they were more distracted and did not perceive as high a need for an aggressive response; but when focusing solely on the game, the drunken participants focused solely on the aggression of their opponent, and responded with high levels of electro shocks.

Giancola further explains that the drunks that had to concentrate on more than just the game were more similar to a sober person, who has the capacity to absorb multiple environmental variables simultaneously, and does not focus only on perceived aggression and provocation. It’s a very interesting theory, and it seems that research backs it up. Our working memory allows us to absorb and process environmental cues effectively, and by being able to simultaneously process a number of environmental variables, the perceived requirement for an aggressive response to a situation is reduced.

Photo: Jan TikThere’s something in alcohol that makes all of us act just a little more belligerently and aggressively than we otherwise would, and for some people alcohol can even provoke physical violence.

But why, and why does a drug we take to feel good eventually so often end up creating feelings of anger and even behaviors of aggression?

To answer these questions University of Kentucky psychologist Peter Giancola took a look at drinking in a modeled experiment of aggression. Working from a theory that explains alcohol influenced violence occurring because when drunk, the parts of our brain that operate our working memory are significantly impaired; and we as a result are less able to focus on multiple environmental stimuli simultaneously.

What happens, so the theory postulates, is that we tend to focus only on provocative stimuli, while being unable to concurrently process other environmental stimuli that might calm or mitigate these perceived provocations.

A man may be at a bar and see someone "hitting on his girlfriend" and when drunk enough, may not recognize the other environmental factors that would clearly indicate that the man was actually, for example, an old friend, and he acts without an accurate perception of the reality in an aggressive manner.

Drinking and Electro Shocks

To clinically test this alcohol induced theory of aggression, Giancola performed experiments that combined electroshocks and Vodka! He gave some trial participants a number of alcoholic drinks, and others none, and he had the study volunteers face off against one another in a frustrating game task, where the loser received an electro shock of varying intensity from the winner.

As expected, the "drunk" participants consistently gave more intense electro shocks to their opponents than those who had not been drinking. To change the variables slightly, Giancola had the drunken participants also think about a complex mental task while playing the game and delivering the shocks, and found that while concentrating on something other than the game exclusively, the shocks delivered by the drunken participants were significantly less intense.

Giancola explains that by having the drunk game players concentrating on something other than the game and their opponents perceived aggression and provocation, they were more distracted and did not perceive as high a need for an aggressive response; but when focusing solely on the game, the drunken participants focused solely on the aggression of their opponent, and responded with high levels of electro shocks.

Giancola further explains that the drunks that had to concentrate on more than just the game were more similar to a sober person, who has the capacity to absorb multiple environmental variables simultaneously, and does not focus only on perceived aggression and provocation. It’s a very interesting theory, and it seems that research backs it up. Our working memory allows us to absorb and process environmental cues effectively, and by being able to simultaneously process a number of environmental variables, the perceived requirement for an aggressive response to a situation is reduced.

In Britain, overnight sales of alcohol lead to a doubling of alcohol related hospital visits.

In response to epidemic levels of binge drinking, disorderly conduct and violence, Britain changed its liquor licensing rules and in November 2005 started to allow the sale of liquor virtually around the clock.

The ideation was that if there was no enforced closure of sales, people would not drink quite so heavily in the period leading up to the previously mandated closing times, and there would be a lesser influx each night of intoxicated people onto the streets at the same time. It sounds sensible in theory, and I don’t know whether crime, violence and disorderly conduct were reduced as a result or not, but one unexpected consequence of the legislative change was that overnight emergency room visits and overnight hospital stays due to alcohol consumption almost doubled in response.

It seems that by increasing the availability of alcohol, people continued to drink more heavily into the night, and a far greater number of people in fact drank to the point that they needed hospitalization. While violence and alcohol always go hand in hand, America has not had the same type of public conduct and violence problems at closing time as Britain has had, and America may want to consider reducing access to alcohol as a way to reduce the number of people who drink alcohol to the point of personal harm each and every night.

If the alcohol runs out, and there is nowhere to buy it, well that’s it for the night for the most part. A seasoned and experienced drunk can always find a bottle, but by reducing access to alcohol, we may be able to reduce the harm done on the population as a whole.

In response to epidemic levels of binge drinking, disorderly conduct and violence, Britain changed its liquor licensing rules and in November 2005 started to allow the sale of liquor virtually around the clock.

The ideation was that if there was no enforced closure of sales, people would not drink quite so heavily in the period leading up to the previously mandated closing times, and there would be a lesser influx each night of intoxicated people onto the streets at the same time. It sounds sensible in theory, and I don’t know whether crime, violence and disorderly conduct were reduced as a result or not, but one unexpected consequence of the legislative change was that overnight emergency room visits and overnight hospital stays due to alcohol consumption almost doubled in response.

It seems that by increasing the availability of alcohol, people continued to drink more heavily into the night, and a far greater number of people in fact drank to the point that they needed hospitalization. While violence and alcohol always go hand in hand, America has not had the same type of public conduct and violence problems at closing time as Britain has had, and America may want to consider reducing access to alcohol as a way to reduce the number of people who drink alcohol to the point of personal harm each and every night.

If the alcohol runs out, and there is nowhere to buy it, well that’s it for the night for the most part. A seasoned and experienced drunk can always find a bottle, but by reducing access to alcohol, we may be able to reduce the harm done on the population as a whole.

Alcohol consumption conclusively linked to colon cancer

A new British study has linked alcohol consumption to an increased risk for colon cancer.

The study found that the consumption of a glass of wine or a pint of beer each day increases your risk for colon cancer by 10%, and two drinks a day increases your risk by as much as 25%; and this is pretty scary stuff since the mortality rate for colon cancer is quite high, with 35 000 Britons each year diagnosed, and 16 000 each year dying from the disease.

I’m not sure what the increased colon cancer risk is when drinking 20 or more beers daily, but I imagine my outlook is not particularly promising. I do have faith in the body’s recuperative powers, and I believe that with each passing year of sobriety I minimize the risks of my previously very unhealthy lifestyle.

No one who drinks is under the illusion that they do so for their health, but in addition to the well know health risks like cirrhosis and heart disease, it seems with every passing year clinical researchers unearth more evidence to the damage done by problem drinking. If you drink to excess you should be aware of the damage you are doing to your body, and think about how long and with how much health you’d like to live. Every day you continue to drink increases your probability of contracting a serious and possibly fatal condition, and the sooner you quit the better your prognosis. If you drink, try to stop, and if you can’t, or won’t, try to minimize your consumption.

If you drink, or did drink to excess, you should be aware of the increased risks for certain diseases, and make sure that your doctor is also aware of your history of abuse, as to ensure you get the needed prophylactic testing that might just save you life. I don’t know how much damage I did to my body while drinking, but I do know that my GI tract was a mess; and although I now feel fine, I think I may have to speak with my doctor about colon cancer, and determine if any testing may be required. Just one more reason to be thankful for a life of sobriety.

A new British study has linked alcohol consumption to an increased risk for colon cancer.

The study found that the consumption of a glass of wine or a pint of beer each day increases your risk for colon cancer by 10%, and two drinks a day increases your risk by as much as 25%; and this is pretty scary stuff since the mortality rate for colon cancer is quite high, with 35 000 Britons each year diagnosed, and 16 000 each year dying from the disease.

I’m not sure what the increased colon cancer risk is when drinking 20 or more beers daily, but I imagine my outlook is not particularly promising. I do have faith in the body’s recuperative powers, and I believe that with each passing year of sobriety I minimize the risks of my previously very unhealthy lifestyle.

No one who drinks is under the illusion that they do so for their health, but in addition to the well know health risks like cirrhosis and heart disease, it seems with every passing year clinical researchers unearth more evidence to the damage done by problem drinking. If you drink to excess you should be aware of the damage you are doing to your body, and think about how long and with how much health you’d like to live. Every day you continue to drink increases your probability of contracting a serious and possibly fatal condition, and the sooner you quit the better your prognosis. If you drink, try to stop, and if you can’t, or won’t, try to minimize your consumption.

If you drink, or did drink to excess, you should be aware of the increased risks for certain diseases, and make sure that your doctor is also aware of your history of abuse, as to ensure you get the needed prophylactic testing that might just save you life. I don’t know how much damage I did to my body while drinking, but I do know that my GI tract was a mess; and although I now feel fine, I think I may have to speak with my doctor about colon cancer, and determine if any testing may be required. Just one more reason to be thankful for a life of sobriety.

Small first time doses of ecstasy proven to damage the brain

Ecstasy has now been proven harmful, even when taken in small doses by new users.

While previous clinical studies have proven that usage of MDMA, the serotonergic acting drug commonly called ecstasy, can have profound and lasting implications; Dutch researchers have found that even initial and limited exposure to the drug causes brain damage and leads to decreases in cognitive testing performances.

Heavy ecstasy use can cause depression, insomnia, irritability, confusion, poor cognition and poor memory performance; and this is not entirely surprising since the drug acts through a process of serotonin modification, and serotonin is uniquely important for mood and memory in the brain. Researchers previously however had no idea how much ecstasy use was required to cause these deficits, and how much impact a small amount of the drug would have.

A Dutch research group aimed to change this and undertook a before and after study of 188 volunteers who had never previously tried the drug, but were deemed at a high risk to try the drug in the future. Researchers performed brain scans on the volunteers before exposure to the drug, and additionally performed cognitive and memory testing on the subjects. After 18 months, 59 of these subjects had tried ecstasy, and they had consumed an average of 6 tablets each during this time period.

The rest of the volunteers had not.

The same scanning and testing was again performed, and researchers were surprised to find that even this small and initial exposure to ecstasy had caused significant impairments in cognitive testing, particularly in verbal memory performance, as well as in blood flow to certain regions of the brain. The damage was not severe but was significantly evident, and had occurred after the consumption of relatively small amounts of the drug.

The research leaders have as a result reported that in their clinical opinion, any exposure to ecstasy is harmful, and people should avoid experimenting with the drug due to the probability of long term brain damage.

A recent survey of American high school seniors indicates that almost 5% had tried the drug, and the usage of the drug seems to be on the rise. There is a mis perception as to the safety of the drug, and the public needs to know that ecstasy is not a safe drug, that long term use can cause serious damage and greatly increases the risk of experienced depression, and additionally that the damage to the brain starts occurring even after only small doses of the drug have been used.

I’ve never tried ecstasy, I guess I’m a bit of an old timer now, but I have no doubt that I would have tried it were I a teenager today. Ecstasy is perceived as a fairly safe and non addictive drug, and it’s unfortunate that this perception is false. The risks of the drug are high, and although I’ve no doubt that it’s a lot of fun; is one night of fun worth the risk of a life time of depression and other cognitive and affective side effects? If you use ecstasy regularly, get educated as to the health consequences of use, and consider stopping, or at least reducing your usage. Ecstasy can be addictive, and professional treatment may be required in some cases.

Ecstasy has now been proven harmful, even when taken in small doses by new users.

While previous clinical studies have proven that usage of MDMA, the serotonergic acting drug commonly called ecstasy, can have profound and lasting implications; Dutch researchers have found that even initial and limited exposure to the drug causes brain damage and leads to decreases in cognitive testing performances.

Heavy ecstasy use can cause depression, insomnia, irritability, confusion, poor cognition and poor memory performance; and this is not entirely surprising since the drug acts through a process of serotonin modification, and serotonin is uniquely important for mood and memory in the brain. Researchers previously however had no idea how much ecstasy use was required to cause these deficits, and how much impact a small amount of the drug would have.

A Dutch research group aimed to change this and undertook a before and after study of 188 volunteers who had never previously tried the drug, but were deemed at a high risk to try the drug in the future. Researchers performed brain scans on the volunteers before exposure to the drug, and additionally performed cognitive and memory testing on the subjects. After 18 months, 59 of these subjects had tried ecstasy, and they had consumed an average of 6 tablets each during this time period.

The rest of the volunteers had not.

The same scanning and testing was again performed, and researchers were surprised to find that even this small and initial exposure to ecstasy had caused significant impairments in cognitive testing, particularly in verbal memory performance, as well as in blood flow to certain regions of the brain. The damage was not severe but was significantly evident, and had occurred after the consumption of relatively small amounts of the drug.

The research leaders have as a result reported that in their clinical opinion, any exposure to ecstasy is harmful, and people should avoid experimenting with the drug due to the probability of long term brain damage.

A recent survey of American high school seniors indicates that almost 5% had tried the drug, and the usage of the drug seems to be on the rise. There is a mis perception as to the safety of the drug, and the public needs to know that ecstasy is not a safe drug, that long term use can cause serious damage and greatly increases the risk of experienced depression, and additionally that the damage to the brain starts occurring even after only small doses of the drug have been used.

I’ve never tried ecstasy, I guess I’m a bit of an old timer now, but I have no doubt that I would have tried it were I a teenager today. Ecstasy is perceived as a fairly safe and non addictive drug, and it’s unfortunate that this perception is false. The risks of the drug are high, and although I’ve no doubt that it’s a lot of fun; is one night of fun worth the risk of a life time of depression and other cognitive and affective side effects? If you use ecstasy regularly, get educated as to the health consequences of use, and consider stopping, or at least reducing your usage. Ecstasy can be addictive, and professional treatment may be required in some cases.

Chinese herbal medicine helps mice drink responsibly?

A variety of Chinese sage, long used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of insomnia, heart problems and blood disorders, has been found promising in the treatment of alcoholism by Italian scientists.

Alcohol dependent mice treated with the Chinese sage drank less, and those mice that had been taken off alcohol drank far less than normal when again given access to alcohol after a period of enforced sobriety. The results have excited the Italian researchers, and they are investigating the herb’s safety before moving on to possible human trials.

I’m not much of an alternative therapy kind of guy, and I’ve never had much belief in acupuncture cures and using hypnotism to cure addiction and all that kind of homeopathic stuff; but if clinical testing indicates that a common herb seems to ease the cravings for alcohol, then I can’t help but get excited about its potential. Because something is natural of course doesn’t mean that it’s healthy, (after all, morphine is natural…but I certainly never felt healthy when abusing it!) but a common herb, and an herb that’s been used in Chinese medicine for millennia, has a good track record of legitimate safety and is something I would not hesitate to take.

Imagine a natural herbal tea, drank daily, that reduced the urge to drink. That would be very good thing and I for one will be awaiting the next stage of testing eagerly.

A variety of Chinese sage, long used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of insomnia, heart problems and blood disorders, has been found promising in the treatment of alcoholism by Italian scientists.

Alcohol dependent mice treated with the Chinese sage drank less, and those mice that had been taken off alcohol drank far less than normal when again given access to alcohol after a period of enforced sobriety. The results have excited the Italian researchers, and they are investigating the herb’s safety before moving on to possible human trials.

I’m not much of an alternative therapy kind of guy, and I’ve never had much belief in acupuncture cures and using hypnotism to cure addiction and all that kind of homeopathic stuff; but if clinical testing indicates that a common herb seems to ease the cravings for alcohol, then I can’t help but get excited about its potential. Because something is natural of course doesn’t mean that it’s healthy, (after all, morphine is natural…but I certainly never felt healthy when abusing it!) but a common herb, and an herb that’s been used in Chinese medicine for millennia, has a good track record of legitimate safety and is something I would not hesitate to take.

Imagine a natural herbal tea, drank daily, that reduced the urge to drink. That would be very good thing and I for one will be awaiting the next stage of testing eagerly.