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NIDA Notes Articles: Treatment

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Deep Brain Stimulation Attenuates Rats’ Responses to Heroin

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.

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After Showing Promise for Cannabis-Using Adolescents, N-Acetylcysteine Falters in Adult Study

September 2017
In a clinical trial, N-acetylcysteine did not help adults reduce their cannabis use, despite having been effective for adolescents in a previous trial. The results indicated that if adults are able to benefit from the medication, they will likely require a different treatment regimen than adolescents.

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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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Buprenorphine Benefits Waitlisted Seekers of Opioid 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.

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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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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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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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Slow-Release Amphetamine Medication Benefits Patients With Comorbid Cocaine Addiction and ADHD

August 2016
Treatment with an extended-release stimulant medication plus cognitive behavioral therapy was associated with reductions in cocaine use and in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in patients with both disorders.

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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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Testing a Prospective Medication To Help People Avoid Relapse

March 2016
This NIDA Notes animation depicts a basic experiment that researchers use to test whether a prospective new medication can prevent relapse to drug addiction.

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