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NIDA Notes Articles: Relapse and Recovery

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Intervention Improves Abstinence, Employment Among Welfare Recipients

December 2010
Reports research to study the effectiveness of an intensive case management program to aid female substance abusers who receive welfare in staying off drugs and finding employment.

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Lofexidine May Enhance Naltrexone Efficacy

December 2008

Highlights results from a pilot study suggesting that lofexidine, an anti-hypertensive medication, can enhance success rates among patients taking maintenance naltrexone to avoid opioid relapse.

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Low-Cost Incentives Improve Outcomes in Stimulant Abuse Treatment

October 2006
Reports on a study investigating the use of incentives in the form of prizes to motivate outpatients to stay in behavioral therapy and remain drug free.

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Medication Reduces Rats' Return to Methamphetamine Seeking

July 2011

Reports on a new medication strategy under investigated in animal studies that shows promise for preventing relapse to drug abuse.

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Medications That Normalize Brain Glutamate Reduce Drug-Seeking in Rats

October 2010
Reports on two studies that demonstrate the promise of treating addiction with medications that alleviate drug-induced alterations in signaling by the neurotransmitter glutamate.

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Methadone Therapy in Prison Benefits Men a Year Out

November 2009

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.

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Molecular Alterations of DNA Contribute to Persistence of Memory

November 2011
In a new series of studies tracing the molecular events that occur in the brain as memories are formed and preserved, researchers find that certain epigenetic changes may promote vulnerability to relapse.

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N-Acetylcysteine Postsynaptic Effect Limits Efficacy

January 2013

Clinical trials of N-acetylcysteine to help people recovering from drug abuse avoid relapse have demonstrated only moderate efficacy. New NIDA-supported research shows that while a low dose of the medication activates receptors associated with lowered drug-seeking behavior, a higher dose appears to activate receptors associated with increased drug-seeking behavior. The result suggests that a medication or combination of medications that stimulate the receptor GluR2/3 and block mGluR5 may work better than N-acetylcysteine alone.

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Naltrexone Implant Outperforms Daily Pill in Russian Trial

November 2013

More than half of heroin-addicted patients treated with naltrexone via an implanted delivery device maintained abstinence throughout a 6-month clinical trial in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The implant device, which releases a steady dose of naltrexone continuously for 2 months, averted relapse to heroin use three times as effectively as daily oral doses of the medication.

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Neuropeptide Promotes Behaviors Tied to Addiction and Overeating

July 2011

Reports on several studies implicating a certain neuropeptide (a signaling molecule) in fostering addition and overeating and discusses implications for addiction treatment.

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