ITM Researcher Building First Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

What could be the first medical treatment for cocaine addiction is being created by Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) researchers Ming Xu, PhD, and Xiaoyang Wu, PhD. Their research edits a patch of normal skin using an engineering technology that puts an anti-cocaine gene into skin stem cells. This system allows Xu and Wu to take a small section of skin, add the anti-cocaine gene to the skin’s cells, and then put it back onto the patient through a process called grafting, a routine procedure where a piece of skin is added onto the body.

Many research strategies related to the opioid crisis focus on increasing access to effective treatments for opioid use disorders, but it’s also vital to prevent addiction before it starts. The Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (Michigan OPEN), which aims to develop a preventive approach to the opioid epidemic, recently hosted a drug take back event that collected and disposed of one ton of pills, including 54,000 opioid pills.

New Study Shows Medication-Based Treatment After Opioid Overdose Can Save Lives

Survivors of opioid overdose have a higher risk of death than individuals who have not experienced an overdose. Effective strategies to lower that risk are critically important to combatting the opioid epidemic in the United States.

Medications to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) are one potential strategy, but research about the effect of medication use on survival after an overdose is limited. To address that gap, a team led by researchers from the Boston University CTSI reviewed medical records for more than 17,500 adults who had survived an opioid overdose. 

CTSI Discovery Radio (Podcast #34) - Public Health Crisis: The Epidemic of Heroin & Prescription Opioid Abuse

It’s one of the largest, most wide-spread public health crises our country and our community has ever faced.  The incidence rate of heroin and prescription opioid abuse and related deaths has reached epidemic proportions. On today’s show, we’ll explore how this concerning problem is affecting members of our community, and how it’s impacting medical education and practice.It’s a special report on collaboration to battle our community’s opioid abuse crisis, inside this edition of CTSI Discovery Radio

Doctors Prescribe Opioids at High Rates to Those at Increased Overdose Risk, but Trends Improving, Study Finds

Patients taking a class of drug known to increase the risk for overdoses were likelier to receive a first-time opioid prescription than the general population, according to new research in JAMA Psychiatry from KL2 scholar John Mafi and colleagues. Patients taking a class of anti-anxiety medications called benzodiazepines received first-time opioid prescriptions at the rate of 172 per 1,000 in 2015 compared to a rate of 79 per 1,000 in 2015 for the general population.

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