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Addiction experts have new tools, tough challenges

Written by Rich Lord

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

April 15, 2018

Kirk Cizerle, RecoveryTrek CEO - Exhibiting at 49th Annual Conference of the American Society of Addiction Medicine

[ASAM: 49TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: Innovations in Addiction Medicine & Science]

SAN DIEGO — After years of surging overdoses, some of the officials and medical practitioners most deeply involved in the fight against opioids have hope that they finally have the tools, the funding and the public support needed to get the epidemic under control.

“I have some cautious optimism,” Debbie Dowell, a senior medical adviser at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at the annual conference of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, which ended Sunday in San Diego.

Even as fentanyl and carfentanil have killed more and more people in some states, a few other states have begun to reverse the trend, she said.

The epidemic is an opportunity to “change the way addiction medicine is treated across the board,” by integrating it with the broader medical community, Wilson Compton, deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said at the conference attended by 2,100 professionals. “It truly is a remarkable time right now.”

The federal government last month dedicated a record $4.6 billion to fighting the opioid epidemic. The key tool most often cited is the drug buprenorphine, most often known by the brand name Suboxone, which is becoming available in new forms, including some that quench the craving for opioids for months. Buprenorphine, an opioid, is often combined with naltrexone, which prevents other opioids from binding to the brain’s receptors.

Treating one opioid with another has been controversial ever since the introduction of... [ CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE ]


(CURATED CONTENT: Published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - April 15, 2018 - / [ Rich Lord: ] )

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