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NIDA to Study Treatment for Painkiller Addiction

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is investigating whether Suboxone — a mix of buprenorphine and naloxone — is effective in treating patients addicted to prescription opiate-based painkillers, HealthDay News reported July 13.

Researchers at New York University Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital Center, and other study sites will assess the effectiveness of Suboxone in treating 648 patients. Each patient will receive the drug for one month at the beginning of the study, tapering off during a detox phase. Those who relapse without going two months drug-free will be able to re-enroll and try again. Half of the study group will receive intensive individualized addiction counseling alongside the medication.

“Addiction to prescription painkillers has rapidly become a major problem, for which effective treatment strategies are sorely needed,” said Marc Gourevitch, who will lead the study at the NYU/Bellevue site.

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