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Two recent studies suggest that genotyping may enable clinicians to base therapies on individual patients’ potential responsiveness to opioid drugs’ therapeutic effects and vulnerability to their harmful effects.
Dr. Kharasch is a NIDA-funded researcher known for a broad range of research into how drugs are metabolized in the body.
A trial of buprenorphine/naloxone (Bup/Nx) showed no evidence that the medicine was associated with liver damage. The drug gave results similar to those of methadone. The study data indicate that although most patients can be treated safely with either methadone or Bup/Nx without major concern for liver injury, clinicians are advised to continue to monitor the liver health of their patients who are on methadone or Bup/Nx therapy.
Dr. Marilyn Huestis of NIDA’s Intramural Research Program talks about conducting research on drug effects with human subjects, developing tests to help law enforcement identify drugged drivers, and an assay to help identify children whose prenatal exposure to anti-HIV drugs may put them at risk for adverse developmental outcomes.
The chief of NIDA's Services Research Branch talks about drug abuse treatment within the criminal justice system, and assesses the challenges facing drug abuse treatment overall in the United States.
Methadone treatment centers are not foci for serious criminal activity, according to a study that used crime reports and global positioning data to compare crime rates at various distances around methadone centers, hospitals, convenience stores, and residential neighborhoods.
Sublingual buprenorphine is a safe and effective alternative to methadone for treating opioid dependence during pregnancy, finds the Maternal Opioid Treatment: Human Experimental Research (MOTHER) study, a NIDA-supported clinical trial. Women who received either medication had similar pregnancy and birth outcomes, but infants born to women who received buprenorphine had milder symptoms of neonatal opioid withdrawal.
Describes results from a nationwide survey among correctional facilities on the use of opioid replacement therapy for people who are addicted to heroin.
Describes a study that examined the effectiveness of combining two therapies for drug abuse addiction: methadone treatment and therapeutic communities, two approaches that are rarely combined.
Reports findings from a survey that revealed that although substance abuse is prevalent in jails and prisons, many correctional facilities do not offer detoxification services or therapies to aid in maintaining abstinence.
Describes findings of a study revealing that images of heroin preparation and injection can incite craving and excite brain areas associated with reward-seeking even in methadone-maintained patients.
Describes clinical trial results providing evidence that methadone maintenance to men in prison can pay off in better retention in community treatment and reduced drug abuse following their release.
Reports on an animal study showing that methadone, normally used as a therapy for opioid abuse, may prove to be an effective treatment for cocaine abuse.
Describes a study of unemployed methadone patients and the use of assertive outreach and motivational techniques to improve the patients’ employment outlook.
Summarizes a study on the use of incentives to encourage abstinence among methadone maintenance patients in outpatient programs.