A new study hasfound that Oxytoxin, a “love hormone” may be the hope of finding a new heroin addiction treatment. A study initiated by the University of Adelaide has shown that love and affection during childhood, could play a significant role in drug addiction.
Oxytoxin, a naturally-occurring hormone that is responsible for the feeling of maternal, social interaction and partnership is present at different levels in humans. Its development is not fully finished until the child reachesthe age of three.
With the hope of finding a new heroin addiction treatment, the doctors looked into how oxytocin and addiction are related. The team of researchers found that a number of risk factors for drug addiction can be traced with children as early as four years of age.
“Previous research has shown that there is a high degree of variability in people’s oxytocin levels,” Dr. Femke Buisman-Pijlman from the University of Adelaide’s School of Medical Sciences said. “We’re interested in how and why people have such differences in oxytocin.”
Numerous researches have been done to seek a heroin addiction cure, and one of the possibilities is the use of the love hormone.The lead author Buisman-Pijlman found that during the stress and times of drug addiction, oxytocin can be greatly affected. This risk factor was evident even at the early age of four.
The team has found that adults with addictive behaviors have not fully developed their oxytocin levels during the early stage of life. They believe that the love hormone could be a mere hope of heroin addiction treatment as it can reduce the pleasurable effect of heroin to the brain.
For someone who has not developed their oxytocin system enough during the early years, they could feel more drug cravings and euphoria with drugs. For this result, it could be concluded that they are more susceptible to develop an addiction.
Buisman-Pijlman noted that development of oxytocin system is affected by the exposure of a child to stress, abuse, severe infection or deprivation early in life. She explained that understanding the role of oxytocin could make way to find a treatment for drug addiction, such as heroin addiction treatment and even prevention.
Although different factors can lead to substance abuse such as environmental, genetics, mental illness and peer pressure, it is good to open the possibilities of finding a treatment for heroin addiction through the use of the love hormone.
Although it is not yet proven that oxytocin could be really introduced as a heroin addiction treatment, the study has given information on parents on the importance of love, respect, safety and stability in raising their children.