Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kicking Heroin: Medication-Assisted Treatment Options

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kicking Heroin: Medication-Assisted Treatment Options

Article excerpt

Opium, heroin and morphine are derived from the poppy flower, grown in places such as Afghanistan and Mexico.

To understand how opioid addiction is treated, it helps to understand how opioids act on the body.

Once consumed, opioids bind to receptors in the brain, nervous system and digestive tract. These receptors are involved in how the body perceives pain and can activate the body's reward system that controls feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Drugs used to treat addiction work at the receptor level. The treatment drugs fall into two categories:

Opioids (agonists) bind to receptors in the brain, nervous system and digestive tract, blocking pain and causing euphoria.

Antagonists bind without triggering effects, blocking opioids.

Methadone Agonist

Methadone has been used for decades to treat people who are addicted to heroin and narcotic pain medicines. It is designed to help people to recover from their addiction, ideally in conjunction with counseling and social support. It is highly regulated and administered through clinics.

Year introduced in the U.S. * 1960s

How does It work? Methadone lessens the painful symptoms of withdrawal and blocks the euphoric effects of opioids, including painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. Methadone is offered in pill, liquidand wafer forms and is taken once a day. It's a controlled substance that has a potential for abuse.

Buprenorphine Partial agonist

Unlike methadone treatment, which must be performed in a highly structured clinic, buprenorphine can be prescribed or dispensed in physicians' offices. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.