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

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

October 2016
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.

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Study Links Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to Reduced Mortality From Opioid Overdose

May 2016
Legally protected marijuana dispensaries (LMDs) were associated with lower rates of dependence on prescription opioids, and deaths due to opioid overdose, than would have been expected based on prior trends. However, LMDs also were associated with higher rates of recreational marijuana use and increased potency of illegal marijuana.

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Dual Regimen Aims To Shorten Medication-Assisted Therapy

May 2016
Treatment that combines use of Bp/Nx and memantine may enable young adults addicted to opioids establish lasting abstinence after a relatively brief course of medication-assisted therapy, a pilot trial suggests.

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ED-Initiated Buprenorphine Outperforms Referral or SBIRT for ED Patients With Opioid Addiction

January 2016
Emergency department visits present prime opportunities to identify people with opioid addiction and provide them with onsite initiation of treatment with buprenorphine/naloxone.

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Life Skills Training Shields Teens From Prescription Opioid Misuse

December 2015
Communities that implemented Life Skills Training in a trial more than recouped its cost in reduced health, social, and other expenditures related to teen prescription opioid misuse.

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

November 2015
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.

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Digital Addiction Therapies Affirm Promise in Replication and Large Trial

November 2015
Two computerized programs improved outcomes when they were used to supplement or partially replace in-person behavioral therapy for drug addiction in recent NIDA-sponsored trials.

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Study Points to Individualized Therapy for Opioid Addiction

February 2015
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.

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Patients Addicted to Opioid Painkillers Achieve Good Results With Outpatient Detoxification

February 2015
A significant portion of individuals who are addicted to opioid painkillers may initiate and maintain abstinence with a brief but intensive outpatient detoxification treatment followed by opioid antagonist therapy using naltrexone.

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

February 2015
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.

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