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.
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.
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.
The spread of marijuana use and the opioid epidemic over the past 10 years have affected middle-aged and older Americans. In addition, prescription opioid and benzodiazepine misuse increased older adults’ risk of suicidal thoughts.
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.