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NIDA Notes Articles: Opioids

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Morphine-Induced Immunosuppression, From Brain to Spleen

June 2008
Reports on scientists who pinpointed the biochemical trigger from morphine that sets off a chain reaction that inhibits an immune cell that is key in fighting viruses and cancer.

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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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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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Not All Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons Are Alike

March 2008
Reports on research showing that the neurons that deliver dopamine to two regions of the brain's mesolimbic reward system respond differently to opioids, an important finding for drug treatment research.

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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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Oxycodone Vaccine Passes Early Tests

May 2013
A new vaccine hindered the often-abused prescription opioids oxycodone and hydrocodone from entering the brain and suppressed one of the drugs’ signature central nervous system effects. The findings warrant continued development of the vaccine as a potential aid in the treatment of oxycodone and hydrocodone abuse and dependence.

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Patch Delivers Buprenorphine for Heroin Detox

November 2009
Describes research on the effectiveness of a buprenorphine patch to alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms of newly abstinent heroin abusers.

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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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Prison Use of Medications for Opioid Addiction Remains Low

July 2011
Describes results from a nationwide survey among correctional facilities on the use of opioid replacement therapy for people who are addicted to heroin.

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