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NIDA Notes Articles: Heroin

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Animal Research Advances Effort to Develop Vaccines Against Cocaine, Heroin Abuse

September 2012

New vaccines that aim to promote recovery from cocaine and heroin abuse showed promise in animal testing. Both vaccines induced rats’ immune system to produce high titers of antibodies that inhibit the target drug from reaching the brain. The rats’ behaviors when given access to the target drug indicated that the vaccines reduced the reinforcing effects that, in recovering people, can cause lapses to turn into relapses.

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Anticipation of Methadone Enhances Brain Reactivity to Heroin Cues

December 2009

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.

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Buprenorphine During Pregnancy Reduces Neonate Distress

July 2012

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.

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Chromosome 17 Harbors Opioid Dependence Genes

March 2008

Describes the work of researchers who have found a statistical link between one region on chromosome 17 and an increased risk of opioid dependence.

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Depot Naltrexone Appears Safe and Effective for Heroin Addiction

April 2007
Presents results of a pilot study to investigate the safety and efficacy of a new long-lasting injectable formulation of naltrexone to treat of heroin addiction in an outpatient setting.

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Detoxification Services and Pharmacotherapies Lacking in Nation's Jails and Prisons

December 2010

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.

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Dr. Marilyn Huestis Q & A: Matching Drug Effects to Drug Concentrations

September 2013

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.

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Interim Methadone Raises Odds of Enrolling in Comprehensive Treatment

April 2007
Reports on a study to investigate the use of methadone maintenance for heroin addicts wait-listed for a treatment program to encourage their likelihood to enroll in the program.

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Journal Highlights Global Nexus of Drug Abuse and HIV/AIDS

October 2007
Reviews a journal supplement that compiles studies on drug-related HIV transmission, with a focus on injection drug use, in 16 different localities across the globe.

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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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