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NIDA

NIDA Notes Articles: Heroin, Opioids, Pain Medication and Prescription Drugs

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Prescription Opioid Misuse Treatment Leverages Mindfulness To Amplify Natural Rewards

October 2018
Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) reduces opioid misuse among chronic pain patients. MORE shifts patients' attention away from drug cues and toward cues for natural rewards.

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As Opioid Use Disorders Increased, Prescriptions for Treatment Did Not Keep Pace

July 2018
Several effective medications are now available for treating opioid use disorder but many patients who could benefit do not receive them. Some patients who receive the medications face challenges to staying in treatment.

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In Animals, Opioid Combination Shows Promise for Safer Pain Relief

June 2018
In rats, the combination treatment of oxycodone/nalfurafine had lower levels of abuse liability and produced less respiratory depression than oxycodone alone.

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Fear of Distress Signals Risk for Opioid Misuse in Chronic Pain Patients

April 2018
Among patients with chronic pain, those who reported less ability to tolerate physical or emotional distress were more likely to misuse opioid analgesics.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Attenuates Rats’ Responses to Heroin

October 2017
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.

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Variation in the Gene for the μ-Opioid Receptor May Influence Responses to Methadone

August 2017
A single nucleotide polymorphism in the messenger RNA of the µ-opioid receptor gene was associated with patients’ responses to methadone treatment for opioid dependence.

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Opioid Agonist Treatment Reduces Societal Costs of Crime

August 2017
Patients who initiate time-unlimited opioid-agonist therapy will generate lower average total crime-related costs over the next 6 months than patients who initiate a 21-day detoxification regimen.

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Nonmedical Opioid and Heroin Use Among High School Seniors

April 2017
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.

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Buprenorphine Benefits Waitlisted Seekers of Opioid Treatment

March 2017
In two pilot clinical trials, buprenorphine helped participants reduce their illicit opioid use and injection drug use while awaiting admission to a methadone or buprenorphine treatment program. Researchers minimized the risks for improper use or diversion of the study medication by giving it to trial participants in a computerized, tamper-proof device that dispenses one dose each day.

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Promising Advances in the Search for Safer Opioids

February 2017
New studies show that two novel compounds powerfully suppressed animals’ pain responses, while producing little or none of the respiratory depression and liability for misuse and abuse associated with morphine and other typical opioids.

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