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NIDA Notes Articles: Treatment

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Staff Stress Affects Patients’ Engagement in Therapy

February 2013

Several factors contribute to treatment professionals’ stress and burnout, including how much influence they feel they have in their organization and their caseload. Surprisingly, a NIDA-supported study found that the link between staff stress and burnout was weaker in programs with higher patient caseloads than those with lower caseloads. In addition, program administrators can help counselors reduce their stress by giving them a voice in organizational policies and procedures.  

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Smokers Who Quit May Have Genetic Advantage

November 2009

Describes research providing evidence that genes may influence how successful a person is in quitting smoking and which cessation technique may work best for them.

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Sertraline Does Not Help Methamphetamine Abusers Quit

March 2008

Describes a new research finding indicating that the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft), prescribed to relieve depression during the methamphetamine withdrawal process, may make quitting harder.

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Selenium Shows Promise as an Adjunct Therapy for HIV

December 2008

Reports on a randomized controlled trial of HIV-infected men and women who, as a result of receiving selenium supplements, experienced lower HIV viral load and greater CD4 cell count.

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Report Discusses Co-Occurrence of Drug Abuse and Other Mental Disorders

December 2009

Describes an updated report on the co-occurrence, or comorbidity, of substance use disorders and other psychiatric disorders such as ADHD, schizophrenia, and depression.

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Recovery May Be Harder for Adolescents, Animal Study Suggests

December 2009

Reports animal study findings that suggest adolescents' heightened sensitivity to drug reward puts them at enhanced risk of addiction and may also increase their challenges in recovery.

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Recovery Checkup System Helps Substance Abusers Who Have Mental Disorders

December 2009

Reports on a posttreatment intervention to support recovery that may be especially beneficial for substance abusers with co-occurring mental disorders.

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Receptor May Underlie Gender Differences in Response to Smoking Cessation

May 2013

Men benefit more than women from nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation because nicotine affects a key neuroreceptor differently in the two sexes, a NIDA-sponsored study suggests. The findings highlight the need for alternative therapies for women smokers, and point to the female hormone progesterone as a potential therapeutic target.

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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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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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