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NIDA Notes Articles: Heroin

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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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Marijuana Use May Promote Nicotine Consumption

April 2014

Exposing rats to THC increases the likelihood that the animals will later self-administer nicotine. THC-exposed rats are also willing to work harder to obtain nicotine. When extrapolated to people, the findings suggest that THC’s pharmacological impact on the brain may make a person who uses marijuana more vulnerable to developing nicotine addiction, an underappreciated health consequence of marijuana use.

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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 Reduces Rats' Cocaine Seeking

December 2008

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.

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More Convenient Preparations of Buprenorphine Pass Test

July 2012

Soluble-film preparations of buprenorphine suppressed heroin abusers’ withdrawal symptoms with no serious side effects in a recent clinical trial. They dissolved more rapidly in the mouth than the pill form of the medication, providing faster relief.

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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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Naltrexone via Skin Patch Proves Effectiveness of New Technology

November 2009

Reports on a new device that creates tiny painless punctures in the skin to allow medication to flow evenly from a skin patch into dermal capillaries and the bloodstream.

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Patch Delivers Buprenorphine for Heroin Detox

November 2009

Describes research on the effectiveness of a buprenorphine patch to alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms of newly abstinent heroin abusers.

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Prison Use of Medications for Opioid Addiction Remains Low

July 2011

Describes results from a nationwide survey among correctional facilities on the use of opioid replacement therapy for people who are addicted to heroin.

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