DREXEL PSY 310 - Opiates- Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (2 pages)

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Opiates- Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow



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Opiates- Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

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2
School:
Drexel University
Course:
Psy 310 - Drugs & Human Behavior

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Opiates Yesterday Today and Tomorrow NIH Fact Sheet on Heroin Addiction http www nih gov about researchresultsforthepublic index htm Thirty Plus Years Ago In the 1960s the most popular form of treatment for heroin addiction was Civil Commitment which essentially placed heroin addicts in prison camps After use of heroin and other drugs skyrocketed methadone was tested and found to be an effective treatment for opiate addiction In the early 1970s public concern over veterans returning from Vietnam with heroin addiction prompted the government to establish a nationwide network of methadone treatment clinics By the 1980s heroin use was known to be associated with premature mortality but the mechanisms were unknown The emergence of AIDS gave new urgency to the need to treat heroin addicts among whom HIV infection spread rampantly through the sharing of contaminated injection equipment Today The discovery of opiate receptors along with enkephalin and endorphins the naturally occurring chemicals that bind to them marked a watershed event in neuroscience for understanding the effects of drugs in the brain We now have a much better understanding of the opioid system s role in regulating pain mood and other brain functions We understand addiction to opiates and other drugs as being a chronic relapsing disease with a wide range of serious medical consequences These science advances enabled the development of better compounds for treating opiate addiction Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients addicted to opiates especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies Naltrexone an opioid receptor blocker was added to the medications toolbox in 1984 It was highly effective in reversing the effects of heroin overdose but its use to achieve abstinence was hampered by poor treatment adherence Naltrexone is an effective medication for some opiate addicts and some patients with co occurring alcohol dependence Instead of competing with



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