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NIDA Notes Articles: Treatment

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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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Novel Compound Alleviates Hard-to-Treat Pain in Mice

June 2018
A novel compound called GAT211 alleviates inflammatory and neuropathic pain in mice without producing tolerance or signs of abuse liability.

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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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Potential Pain Medication Targets Peripheral Nerves

September 2012
Researchers report a significant advance in the search for medications that can suppress pain but avoid opioids’ abuse potential and other undesirable CNS effects. A new compound reduces mouse responses in animal models of neurogenic and chronic inflammatory (e.g., arthritic) pain. The compound, called UB937, enhances the natural pain-killing activity of the neurotransmitter anandamide, and exerts its analgesic effects entirely in peripheral tissues, without entering the brain.

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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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Quinine as a Tracer for Medication Adherence

September 2016
Patients who don’t take their medications as prescribed often put themselves at risk for problems including misdiagnoses, complications, and death. A study suggests that adding low doses of quinine to patients’ medications could provide an inexpensive, reliable, and safe method of monitoring whether patients are taking their medications as directed.

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Receptor May Underlie Gender Differences in Response to Smoking Cessation

May 2013
Men benefit more than women from nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation because nicotine affects a key neuroreceptor differently in the two sexes, a NIDA-sponsored study suggests. The findings highlight the need for alternative therapies for women smokers, and point to the female hormone progesterone as a potential therapeutic target.

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