Sep. 26, 2006 The number of medications for treating addictions - one of the nation's most serious public health problems - has nearly doubled in recent years, along with a gradually expanding public willingness to use medication-based therapy, according to an article in the Sept. 25 issue of the ACS weekly news magazine, Chemical & Engineering News.
With September designated as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery month, C&EN showcases the new pharmacotherapies, including the first new non-nicotine treatment for cigarette smokers in almost a decade. Written by senior correspondent Ann M. Thayer, the article also discusses new products for opioid abuse and alcohol dependence.
Thayer notes that addictions once were regarded largely as weaknesses in character or will. A better scientific understanding of addiction is slowly changing that mindset and leading to a wider exploration of medication-based treatments.
Thayer points out, however, that most people with substance dependence or abuse problems do not get treatment of any kind, including behavioral therapies that can be effective.
With growing recognition that addiction disorders are chronic, relapsing diseases, pharmaceutical companies increasingly are viewing addiction as a target for drug development, the article indicates.
Although only about 10 products are on the market, more than 30 other new pharmacotherapies are in various stages of development for alcohol, narcotic and nicotine dependences.
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