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NIDA Notes Articles: People with Drug Use Disorders

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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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Most People Entering Drug Treatment Have Additional Mental Health Problems

November 2009

Highlights data on the prevalence of people entering substance abuse treatment programs who also reported having at least one co-occurring mental health problem.

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N-Acetylcysteine Postsynaptic Effect Limits Efficacy

January 2013

Clinical trials of N-acetylcysteine to help people recovering from drug abuse avoid relapse have demonstrated only moderate efficacy. New NIDA-supported research shows that while a low dose of the medication activates receptors associated with lowered drug-seeking behavior, a higher dose appears to activate receptors associated with increased drug-seeking behavior. The result suggests that a medication or combination of medications that stimulate the receptor GluR2/3 and block mGluR5 may work better than N-acetylcysteine alone.

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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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Naltrexone-Nicotine Patch Combination Shows Promise

April 2007
Reports findings from a clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of naltrexone as a supplement to nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation.

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New Technique Links 89 Genes to Drug Dependence

September 2008

Presents research findings linking 89 genes to drug abuse and dependence, found using genome-wide association studies, a new technique for identifying genes.

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New Tools and Strategies to Bolster Behavioral Therapy

October 2010

Reports on research investigating whether certain medications might strengthen patients' understanding and memory retention.

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New Vaccines Are Being Developed Against Addiction and Relapse

December 2008

Highlights NIDA-funded research to develop vaccines against addiction to drugs such as cocaine, nicotine, phencyclidine (PCP), and methamphetamine.

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Nicotine Makes Mouse Brain More Responsive to Cocaine

February 2013

Nicotine sensitizes the mouse brain to the addictive effects of cocaine, according to recent NIDA-supported research. The results accord with the hypothesis that a person’s initial use of an addictive substance physiologically sensitizes his or her brain to the rewarding and addictive effects of other substances. If the findings carry over to people, then preventing youths from smoking might reduce their vulnerability to cocaine abuse and addiction, and cocaine-dependent individuals might ease their path to recovery by quitting smoking.

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