Kicking the Habit Of Heroin:
The deadly Puffer Fish may contain all the solutions for Heroin addicts.
Discovered in China, a Canadian biotechnology company, International Wex Technologies has now obtained the rights to develop Tetrodoxin, the poison from the fish, to fight drug addiction.
Like so many of these types of discoveries, it was merely by accident and the feeling of scientists who were working with the substance said that it could work.
Tetrodoxin blocks the painful withdrawal symptoms associated with kicking the Heroin addiction and lessens the addicts craving for the drug.
Besides treating Heroin addicts, the drug is understood to be 3000 times more powerful in killing pain which may be beneficial for cancer patients etc. Early studies in China showed that addicts withdrawal symptoms can end within three to seven days.
Currently the two most preferred methods of treating the addictions is by administering Methadone or Morphine, but both these “cures” are addictive too.
Some Facts About the Puffer Fish
- When puffed up, it weighs about 1kg each yielding about 10,000mg of the poison, Tetrodoxin.
- Each fish would be able to produce more than 650 doses of Wex’s Tetrodoxin.
- The puffer fish stores Tetrodoxin in its tissue.
- Several countries have licensed chefs who are specially trained to prepare the fish for consumption.
- The fish is available from both wild and farmed sources. Also known as fugu, it produces the poison only when it eats plankton
We cannot say whether the drug is going to work on Heroin addicts yet, as clinical tests have yet to be completed. But the supply
of the fish is crucial. If it does work and people start using it, it must be continued. If not, the effects on these patients would be devastating. Although Dr Baddeley who works with a major biochemical manufacturer feels counselling is still the best way to get people off drugs.