Addiction, Author Interviews / 17.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Harriet De Wit, PhD Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience University of Chicago 

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: There are numerous reports that psychedelics like LSD, taken in very small ‘microdoses’, help boost mood, cognitive function and productivity. The practice is popular in Silicon Valley and among media figures, who report remarkable beneficial effects from regular use of these microdoses. The possible antidepressant effects of LSD are plausible from a neurobiological perspective, as the drug acts directly on serotonin receptors, the same systems where SSRI’s act.  However, the effects of microdosing have not yet been validated in controlled research. In our study, we recruited healthy men and women to ingest repeated, low doses of LSD under double blind conditions.  They attended four laboratory sessions, separated by three to four days.  They were randomly assigned to one of three groups who received the same drug on all four sessions: placebo, 13 micrograms of LSD or 26 micrograms of LSD. Subjects were not told exactly what drug they were receiving until the end of the study.  We measured their mood, emotional reactivity and cognition. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Opiods / 28.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julie O’Donnell, PhD MPH Division of Overdose Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control CDC National Network of Public Health Institutes New Orleans, Louisiana MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The estimated number of drug overdose deaths in the US surpassed 100,000 over a 12-month period for the first time during May 2020-April 2021, driven by the involvement of synthetic opioids other than methadone (mainly illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF)), according to data from the National Vital Statistics System. The State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) is a CDC-funded surveillance program that has collected detailed data on unintentional and undetermined intent drug overdose deaths since 2016 from death certificates, medical examiner and coroner reports, and full postmortem toxicology reports. SUDORS data allow for the analysis specifically of deaths involving fentanyl (rather than the larger category of synthetic opioids), and contain information about decedent demographics and other characteristics, as well as circumstances surrounding the overdose that might help inform prevention. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, University of Pennsylvania / 14.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashish Thakrar, MD Internal Medicine & Addiction Medicine National Clinician Scholars Program University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: About 1.8 million Americans are currently incarcerated, more than any other country in the world per capita. Of those 1.8 million, about 1 in 7 suffers from opioid addiction, putting them at high risk of overdose and death, particularly in the weeks following release. Opioid use disorder is a treatable condition, particularly with the medications buprenorphine or methadone, but historically, prisons and jails have not offered treatment. Over the past five years, a few states and municipalities have enacted policies to provide access for OUD treatment. We examined whether these policies were actually improving access to treatment.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Methamphetamine, NIH, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 24.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Beth Han, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. Epidemiologist, Science Policy Branch of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the U.S., overdose deaths involving psychostimulants with abuse potential other than cocaine (i.e. largely methamphetamine), increased dramatically during the past decade. Psychostimulant-involved overdose deaths also often involved opioids (50% in 2017). However, it was still undetermined how trends in methamphetamine use among vulnerable populations and specific patterns of use [e.g. methamphetamine use with or without other substances, frequent methamphetamine use, methamphetamine use disorder (MUD), and injection] may contribute to greater risk for overdose mortality. Moreover, understanding characteristics that are associated with methamphetamine use, frequent use, MUD, and injection is of value in guiding strategies to address the root causes for the recent surge in methamphetamine overdose deaths. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 10.09.2021

John A. Furst BS Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Methadone is an evidence-based pharmacotherapy for opioid detoxification, maintenance therapy, and pain management. However, accessibility of this treatment remains variable across much of the country. Methadone for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) is exclusively provided by federally regulated opioid treatment programs (OTPs) and has provoked significant community-based and legal controversy regarding its role in the management of this condition. This has created disparities related to the distribution and access of methadone throughout the United States (U.S.). The goal of this study1 was to highlight the most recent pharmacoepidemiologic trends associated with methadone in the face of unique restrictions at the local, state, and federal levels. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cocaine, Diabetes, Methamphetamine / 07.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joy M. Schmitz, Ph.D. Professor of Psychiatry Faillace Chair McGovern Medical School The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Director, Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addiction (CNRA)   Scott D. Lane Ph.D. McGovern Medical School Vice Chair For Research Director Of Neurobehavioral Laboratory Center For Neurobehavioral Research On Addiction Director Of Research University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Houston, TX  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Addiction science has made considerable progress in understanding how cocaine and other addictive drugs impair the brain. Over time, cocaine can disrupt brain regions that help us think, plan, solve problems, and exert self-control. These disruptions in brain structure can be seen in neuroimaging studies that reveal impairment in the nerve fibers or white matter (WM) tracts in the central and front parts of the brain. We conducted two systematic meta-analytic reviews of the literature to document the robustness of evidence showing alterations in WM integrity of chronic stimulant users relative to healthy control subjects who did not use cocaine or other drugs of abuse (Beard et al., 2019; Suchting et al., 2020). Importantly, WM impairments negatively predict treatment outcome, meaning individuals with greater levels of WM impairment are less likely to benefit from treatment and more likely to experience deficits in attention, working memory, and impulse control. We reasoned that pharmacological interventions shown to protect WM integrity may help improve cognition and treatment outcomes in patients recovering from cocaine addiction. Pioglitazone, an approved medication for type 2 diabetes, has been shown to reduce inflammation and mediate protection after traumatic brain injury. The therapeutic potential of pioglitazone has prompted investigation of its role in neurodegenerative conditions, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke. Similar to these brain diseases and injuries, pioglitazone might effectively protect the brain from the inflammatory damage created by cocaine use.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods / 25.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John Boyle, BS Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Meperidine is an opioid analgesic which has been approved for use since the 1940s for moderate to severe pain. During the 1990s, concerns about adverse effects (e.g., serotonin syndrome) and CYP450 drug interactions (e.g., 3A4 inhibition of other metabolism of other common medications) were raised and by 2003 it was removed from the WHO’s List of Essential Medicines. Despite increased awareness of adverse effects, meperidine is still used in the United States. It was the goal of this study1 to uncover pharmaepidemiological trends in its use. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods / 24.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? http://www.indivior.com/Response: Adults with moderate or severe opioid use disorder (OUD) were randomized to SUBLOCADE monthly injections or placebo and studied for 24 weeks. Participants receiving SUBLOCADE were given 2 monthly injections of 300 mg, followed by 4 monthly maintenance doses of 100 mg or 300 mg over the course of the study. (more…)
Author Interviews / 24.06.2021

http://www.indivior.com/ Background: To identify individual-level factors associated with COVID-19-related impacts on recovery in 216 participants originally enrolled in the SUBLOCADE® (buprenorphine extended-release) clinical program.  Within the fifteen-month study 216 participants, during the period of September 2021 through January 2021, were asked how the COVID-19 crisis affected their recovery from substance use, utilizing self-reported measures. (more…)
Alcohol / 02.06.2021

Decisions have added weight after going through rehabilitation. The priority you put on these decisions will determine the scope of your recovery period. To avoid a relapse, seeking out healthy social circles is the key. Distance Yourself from Triggers There are emotional triggers that will make you want a drink. Once you figure them out, it becomes much easier to avoid. Common triggers are people, relationships, and stress. During drug and alcohol rehabilitation, overcoming your weak points is a part of the process. People can unintentionally make you feel inadequate during normal conversations. When every other conversation with a specific individual causes this problem, you have to speak up. Let them know you’re uncomfortable with a specific subject. If they refuse to acknowledge it, move on and remove that trigger from your life. Short-term and long-term relationships have a big impact on your life. Breaking up with someone makes your future look bleak. When finding someone new fails, a sense of hopelessness sets in. The answer to resolving this problem is to ‘fully’ break up with someone. Staying in contact and reliving happy memories will give you false hope. Staying away from a former relationship trigger prevents bouts of drinking for the future. Stress can sometimes be related to time, or the lack of it. Time management is the best way to avoid this trigger. Having a plan means that you’re in a better position to complete your tasks. There is no need for fancy scheduling, and it helps create a good habit. When you’re productive, stress tends to take a backseat to everything else. (more…)