Next week is reportedly set to see researchers in Finland begin a unique year-long trial to test the effectiveness of a special nasal spray that has been designed to combat problem gambling.

According to a recent report from The Guardian newspaper, the innovative spray is to contain a medication known as naloxone, which blocks the production of the pleasure-inducing chemical dopamine and is usually given to those suffering from an addiction to opiates such as morphine, opium and heroin.

The newspaper reported that Hannu Alho from the Helsinki-based National Institute for Health and Welfare is set to lead the research, which is to involve approximately 130 volunteers testing out the spray whenever they feel the need to gamble. The addiction medicine professor purportedly described the study as ‘the first of its kind globally to use nasal spray’ before stating that his solution is expected to work faster than a previous attempt that involved gambling addicts taking a pill that contained a substance akin to naloxone.

“The spray goes to the brain in a few minutes so it’s very useful for a gambler; if you crave gambling, just take the spray,” Alho reportedly told The Guardian.

The newspaper reported that a study from the Peluuri anti-addiction organization had recently determined that around 2.7% of Finnish adults suffer from some form of gambling problem while the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission purportedly determined last year that some two million Britons were either at risk or already addicted.

“Gambling is a very impulsive behavior [and] the need to gamble starts right away,” Alho reportedly told The Guardian. “For this reason we are seeking a medication with a quick effect; the nasal spray acts in just a few minutes.”

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