NIH unveils new opioid drug abuse therapy

April 22, 2010 at 1:23 PM
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ALBUQUERQUE, April 22 (UPI) -- The National Institute on Drug Abuse says it has created a treatment program designed to help young adults who are addicted to opioid drugs.

The program was announced Thursday in Albuquerque during a two-day NIH conference designed to bring together the latest drug addiction research findings so they can be immediately applied to the needs of patients and their families.

The new treatment product, Buprenorphine Treatment for Young Adults, is based on research that suggests young adults given longer term treatment with the medication buprenorphine were less likely to use drugs and more likely to stay in treatment, compared to those who received short-term detoxification without follow-up medication.

"Buprenorphine (which helps relieve drug cravings) had been proven effective with adults but, until recently, evidence was lacking that its anti-addiction properties would work in this important group of younger patients," Dr. Nora Volkow, the NIDA director, said. "The new product includes a three-hour training package that examines opioid use among young adults and looks at research results showing the effectiveness of buprenorphine for this age group."

The NIH said its Albuquerque conference is being attended by more than 1,300 addiction treatment specialists, healthcare providers, criminal justice professionals, researchers and policymakers.

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