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NIDA Notes Articles: Opioids

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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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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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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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Reducing Postpartum Drug Use

December 2008

Highlights a computerized intervention that reduced new mothers' drug abuse in the first 4 months postpartum as reported in a clinical trial of 107 women who abused drugs.

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Basic Science Discoveries Yield Novel Approaches to Analgesia

September 2008

Describes research to develop new compounds that match or exceed the pain relief provided by opioids while avoiding their shortcomings.

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Morphine-Induced Immunosuppression, From Brain to Spleen

June 2008

Reports on scientists who pinpointed the biochemical trigger from morphine that sets off a chain reaction that inhibits an immune cell that is key in fighting viruses and cancer.

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Reduced Longevity Among Male Heroin Abusers, 1962-1997

June 2008

Reviews the changing lifespan of heroin abusers as compared with that of the general U.S. population based on 1962-1997 data.

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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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Not All Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons Are Alike

March 2008

Reports on research showing that the neurons that deliver dopamine to two regions of the brain's mesolimbic reward system respond differently to opioids, an important finding for drug treatment research.

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