Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Promising treatment for heroin dependency

Date:
February 17, 2011
Source:
The Research Council of Norway
Summary:
A new treatment using naltrexone implants could lead to a significant reduction in heroin dependency. According to the researchers responsible for a recent Norwegian study, this should have major implications for the treatment options offered to heroin-dependent patients.

A new treatment using naltrexone implants could lead to a significant reduction in heroin dependency. According to the researchers responsible for a recent Norwegian study, this should have major implications for the treatment options offered to heroin-dependent patients.

Today, the most common way to become heroin-free is through treatment with methadone or Subutex. These substances resemble morphine and are also addictive, but reduce heroin use and criminality among patients.

The new treatment is targeted towards people who wish to overcome their heroin addiction without using other addictive substances. The researchers have been using naltrexone, a substance that works by completely blocking the effect of heroin and other morphine substances. This reduces the likelihood of overdose, physical dependency and other drug cravings.

"This blockage effect induces a feeling of calm and allows the patients to escape from their heroin addiction and stressful, drug-dependent lives. They are able to concentrate on getting a new start," explains Nikolaj Kunøe, who, with the help of Research Council funding, completed his doctorate on this topic at the Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research (SERAF) at the University of Oslo.

Satisfied users

Some 56 heroin-dependent patients who had undergone detoxification treatment and were particularly motivated to remain heroin-free took part in the study. Half of the participants were implanted with a total of 20 subcutaneous pellets containing naltrexone, which was gradually released from a saline solution with the aim of producing a six-month blockage effect. All the participants continued their normal follow-up treatments while the study was ongoing.

After six months, over twice as many in the group receiving naltrexone as in the control group (11 out of 23 as opposed to 5 out of 26) managed to refrain from using heroin and other morphine substances. Heroin use among those patients receiving naltrexone who did not manage to discontinue using heroin altogether was more than halved compared with their level of heroin use before they started treatment. In the control group the majority of patients relapsed to daily heroin use.

Satisfaction with the naltrexone implants was high. On a scale from 0 to 100 the participants gave the capsules a score of 85.

Clear-cut findings

Helge Waal, Professor emeritus at SERAF, would like to see the naltrexone implant included as one of the treatment options offered to heroin-dependent patients in Norway.

"Although this is a relatively small-scale study, the findings are so clear-cut that we think this should become an important treatment option for substance abusers."

SERAF is seeking to obtain more detailed documentation of the effects of naltrexone in order to provide a basis for the approval of the naltrexone implant or depot by the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NoMA).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Research Council of Norway. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Research Council of Norway. "Promising treatment for heroin dependency." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110216083125.htm>.
The Research Council of Norway. (2011, February 17). Promising treatment for heroin dependency. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110216083125.htm
The Research Council of Norway. "Promising treatment for heroin dependency." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110216083125.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) — In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins