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.
A clinical trial found that patients who self-administered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) using computerized training modules reduced their drug use as much as patients who received clinician-delivered CBT, and they maintained this advantage through a 6-month follow-up.
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.
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.
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.