The present invention provides a highly efficient method for treating substance addiction and for changing addiction-related behavior of a mammal suffering from substance addiction. The method includes administering to a mammal an effective amount of gamma vinylGABA or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof. The present invention also provides a method of treatment of cocaine, morphine, heroin, nicotine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, or ethanol addiction by treating a mammal with an effective amount of gamma vinylGABA or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof. In one embodiment, the method of the present invention includes administering to the mammal an effective amount of a composition which increases central nervous system GABA levels wherein the effective amount is sufficient to diminish, inhibit or eliminate behavior associated with craving or use of drugs of abuse. The composition includes GVG, gabapentin, valproic acid, progabide, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, fengabine, cetylGABA, topiramate or tiagabine or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, or an enantiomer or a racemic mixture thereof.
This invention was made with Government support under Contract NO. DE-ACO2-98CH10886, between the U.S. Department of Energy and Brookhaven Science Associates and also under Contract Nos. NIMH MH49165, NIMH R2955155 between National Institutes of Mental Health and Brookhaven Science Associates. The Government has certain rights in the invention.