New Approach for Opioid Addiction Experts have developed a new multifaceted treatment program for young adults addicted to opioid drugs.

The approach was announced at the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) Conference in Albuquerque, N.M.

The new treatment product, Buprenorphine Treatment for Young Adults, was based on research by NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

It showed that 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 followup medication.

Buprenorphine helps relieve drug cravings.

“Buprenorphine 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,” said NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow.

“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 training program is in a suite of buprenorphine products developed by the Blending Initiative.

Among them: training for addiction professionals about laws governing the office-based use of the treatment; a discussion of how to select appropriate patients; and an explanation of how buprenorphine works.

Yet another product outlines the results of a NIDA clinical trial comparing short-term detoxification with buprenorphine versus clonidine, another addiction treatment.

This spring’s conference is titled “Blending Addiction Science and Practice: Evidence-Based Treatment and Prevention in Diverse Populations and Settings.”

In addition to the new buprenorphine products, the topics range from controlling heroin and opioid addiction in young adults to understanding genetic changes in the brain that underlie addiction.

“Rapid advances in our understanding of the mechanisms behind addiction have expanded our treatment horizon dramatically in recent years,” said Dr. Volkow.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse