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Treatment

Deep Brain Stimulation Attenuates Rats’ Responses to Heroin

High-frequency electrical stimulation of neurons deep in the brain can reduce rats’ relapse-like behavior and motivation to take heroin. The finding strengthens hope that deep brain stimulation might offer a new treatment alternative for opioid addiction, particularly for patients who have not benefited from other treatments.

Public Health

Nonmedical Opioid and Heroin Use Among High School Seniors

This study analyzed the use of use of nonmedical opioids and heroin use among 68,000 high-school seniors participating in the NIDA-funded Monitoring the Future Study between 2009 and 2013.

Treatment

Messages Shore Up Support for Making Life-Saving Anti-Overdose Medication Widely Available

Public health messages can increase public approval for making naloxone legally available to friends and relatives of opioid users to administer if an overdose occurs.

Treatment

Long-Term Follow-Up of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Addiction to Pain Relievers Yields “Cause for Optimism”

In the first long-term follow-up of patients treated with buprenorphine/naloxone for addiction to opioid pain relievers, half reported that they were abstinent from the drugs 18 months after starting the therapy.

Treatment

Study Points to Individualized Therapy for Opioid Addiction

Trial participants who were addicted to opioid painkillers and did not inject drugs stayed in treatment longer and achieved better outcomes than those who were addicted to heroin or injected drugs.

Basic Science

Animal Study Suggests Marijuana May Affect Future Offspring’s Susceptibility to Heroin

Can marijuana use put offspring at heightened risk for opiate addiction, even if the use stops before the offspring are conceived? Results from a recent NIDA-funded study are consistent with other studies suggesting that a parent’s history of drug use, even preconception, may affect a child’s brain function and behavior.

Basic Science

Gene Variants Reduce Opioid Risks

Two recent studies suggest that genotyping may enable clinicians to base therapies on individual patients’ potential responsiveness to opioid drugs’ therapeutic effects and vulnerability to their harmful effects.

Basic Science

Marijuana Use May Promote Nicotine Consumption

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.

Public Health

In Nationwide Survey, More Students Use Marijuana, Fewer Use Other Drugs

Almost one-third (32 percent) of the roughly 42,000 Monitoring the Future survey respondents reported having used marijuana during their lifetime. However, abuse of many other drugs—methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and some prescription medications—declined.

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