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NIDA Notes Articles: Treatment

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Multidimensional Family Therapy for Adolescent Drug Abuse Offers Broad, Lasting Benefits

December 2010
Describes findings from two randomized clinical trials showing that treatment with multidimensional family therapy resulted in fewer drug-related problems than treatment with cognitive behavior therapy.

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N-Acetylcysteine Postsynaptic Effect Limits Efficacy

January 2013
Clinical trials of N-acetylcysteine to help people recovering from drug abuse avoid relapse have demonstrated only moderate efficacy. New NIDA-supported research shows that while a low dose of the medication activates receptors associated with lowered drug-seeking behavior, a higher dose appears to activate receptors associated with increased drug-seeking behavior. The result suggests that a medication or combination of medications that stimulate the receptor GluR2/3 and block mGluR5 may work better than N-acetylcysteine alone.

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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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Nanotechnology Powers Smart Skin Patch

November 2011
An in vitro test demonstrates the potential of a programmable skin patch that will enable physicians to tailor transdermal medication doses to match patients' fluctuating needs.

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New Approach Uses Immune Cells To Deliver Anti-HIV Medications

October 2014
Nano-antiretroviral therapy (nano-ART) turns macrophages—one of the very cell types that HIV uses to replicate and spread through the body—into carriers for anti-HIV medications. The approach has the potential to make treatment for HIV easier and more effective.

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New Therapy Reduces Drug Abuse Among Patients With Severe Mental Illness

June 2008
Describes a new intervention that enhances recovery prospects for substance abusers whose mental illness complicates the path toward recovery.

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Nicotine Dependence is Linked With Mental Disorders in Pregnant Women

December 2008
Reports on a link between mental disorders, including mood, anxiety, or personality disorder and nicotine dependence in pregnancy women.

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Nonmedical Treatment for Cocaine Addiction Shows Promise in Pilot Trial

November 2016
Patients who received transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) were more likely to abstain from cocaine than patients who received medications for symptoms associated with abstinence. Researchers concluded that TMS appears to be safe and its efficacy as a treatment for cocaine addiction deserves to be evaluated in a larger clinical trial.

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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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