Alcoholism drug may curb urges of kleptomaniacs

April 1st, 2009 - 1:23 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Apr 1 (ANI): A drug commonly used for treating alcoholism and drug addiction has been found to curb the compulsive behaviour of kleptomaniacs, say researchers.

The research team from the Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry has found that drug Naltrexone significantly reduced kleptomaniacs urge to steal.

During the study, the researchers conducted an eight-week, double-blind trial among 25 men and women ages 17-75, who spent an average of at least one hour a week stealing.

The researchers found that those who took the drug Naltrexone reported significantly greater decline in stealing behaviour compared to those taking placebo.

“It gets rid of that rush and desire,” said Dr Jon Grant, J.D., M.P.H., a University of Minnesota associate professor of psychiatry and principal investigator of the study.

“The difference in their behaviour was significant, and these people were really troubled by their behaviour,” he added.

While the drug is not a cure for kleptomania, Grant said it offers hope to those who are suffering from the addiction.

He also said the drug would most likely work best in combination with individual therapy.

“These are people who steal even though they can easily afford not to,” Grant added.

The research appears in Journal of Biological Psychiatry. (ANI):

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