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NIDA Notes Articles: Pain Medication

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Meeting Reviews Progress On Prescription Opioid Misuse

April 2007
Describes a meeting of researchers and clinicians who gathered to discuss the challenges in balancing appropriate pain treatment with efforts to minimize prescription opioid misuse.

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Endorphin Derivative Inhibits Reward From Morphine and Nicotine in Rats

October 2007

Describes research investigating a naturally occurring brain chemical that shows early promise as a treatment for addiction in animal studies.

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Exposure to Morphine During Early Adolescence Sensitizes Rats as Adults

October 2007

Presents highlights of a study indicating that exposure to morphine during adolescence may increase sensitivity to the drug during adulthood.

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Alcohol Abuse Makes Prescription Drug Abuse More Likely

March 2008

Reports on results from a study showing that men and women with alcohol use disorders are more likely to report nonmedical use of prescription drugs than people who don't drink at all.

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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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Morphine Speeds AIDS Onset in Monkeys

June 2008

Highlights the work of investigators who discovered key ways in which morphine may accelerate the progression of AIDS in animal studies.

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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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Some Teens Reporting Nonmedical Use of Prescriptions Develop Disorders

April 2010
Reports teen drug abuse based on 2006-2007 data from a national survey on drug use and health and compares differences by gender.

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Few Teens With Prescription Opioid Use Disorders Receive Treatment

July 2012

Fewer than 12 percent of adolescents who meet diagnostic criteria for prescription opioid abuse or dependence receive any treatment, according to an analysis of data from the 2005 to 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The most common reason the adolescents gave for not receiving treatment was their lack of perceived need for it.

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Potential Pain Medication Targets Peripheral Nerves

September 2012

Researchers report a significant advance in the search for medications that can suppress pain but avoid opioids’ abuse potential and other undesirable CNS effects. A new compound reduces mouse responses in animal models of neurogenic and chronic inflammatory (e.g., arthritic) pain. The compound, called UB937, enhances the natural pain-killing activity of the neurotransmitter anandamide, and exerts its analgesic effects entirely in peripheral tissues, without entering the brain.

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