What Are The Most Promising New Treatments For Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction is a serious public health problem. In 2021, more than 70,000 people in the United States died from drug overdoses, the majority of which involved opioids.

While there are effective treatments for opioid addiction, such as methadone and buprenorphine, there is a need for new and improved treatments. This is because some people do not respond to these treatments, and others may experience side effects that make them difficult to tolerate.

Here are some of the most promising new treatments for opioid addiction:

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with extended-release naltrexone (Vivitrol)

Naltrexone is a medication that blocks the effects of opioids. It is available in an oral pill form that is taken once daily. However, some people have difficulty taking naltrexone consistently, and this can lead to relapse.

Vivitrol is an extended-release form of naltrexone that is injected once a month. This can help to improve compliance and reduce the risk of relapse.

Vivitrol has been shown to be effective in treating opioid addiction in adults. In a clinical trial, Vivitrol was found to be more effective than placebo in reducing opioid use and preventing relapse.

  • MAT with buprenorphine and naltrexone (Sublocade)

Sublocade is a new formulation of buprenorphine and naltrexone that is administered as a once-monthly injection.

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means that it binds to opioid receptors but does not produce the same euphoric effects as full opioid agonists, such as heroin and oxycodone. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, which means that it blocks the effects of opioids.

Sublocade has been shown to be effective in treating opioid addiction in adults. In a clinical trial, Sublocade was found to be more effective than placebo in reducing opioid use and preventing relapse.

  • MAT with lofexidine

Lofexidine is a medication that is used to treat the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It is available in an oral pill form that is taken several times a day.

Lofexidine has been shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, such as anxiety, sweating, and muscle cramps. It can also help to reduce the craving for opioids.

Lofexidine is typically used in conjunction with other medications, such as buprenorphine or methadone, to treat opioid addiction.

  • Vaccines for opioid addiction

Researchers are developing vaccines for opioid addiction. These vaccines would work by training the body’s immune system to recognize and attack opioids.

Several opioid vaccines are currently in clinical trials. One vaccine, called Cybin5-AT, has been shown to be safe and effective in reducing opioid use in people with opioid use disorder.

  • Gene editing therapies for opioid addiction

Researchers are also developing gene editing therapies for opioid addiction. These therapies would work by correcting the genetic changes that are associated with opioid addiction.

Gene editing addiction therapy is still in the early stages of development, but they have the potential to be a revolutionary new treatment for opioid addiction.

These are just a few of the most promising new treatments for opioid addiction. As researchers continue to learn more about the disease, they are developing new and innovative treatments that can help people recover from opioid addiction and live healthy and productive lives.

Other promising new treatments for opioid addiction

In addition to the addiction treatment program listed above, there are a number of other promising new treatments for opioid addiction that are currently in development. These include:

  • Monoclonal antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced proteins that can be designed to target and block specific molecules. Researchers are developing monoclonal antibodies that target opioids and prevent them from binding to opioid receptors.

  • Opioid antagonists with reduced side effects

Researchers are developing opioid antagonists with reduced side effects. These medications would be more likely to be tolerated by people with opioid addiction, which would improve compliance and reduce the risk of relapse.

  • Psychedelic-assisted therapy

Psychedelic-assisted therapy is a type of therapy that uses psychedelic drugs to help people recover from addiction. Psychedelic drugs, such as LSD and psilocybin, have been shown to have therapeutic effects for a variety of conditions, including addiction.

Psychedelic-assisted therapy is still in the early stages of research, but it has the potential to be a new and effective treatment for opioid addiction.

Conclusion

There are a number of promising new treatments for opioid addiction in development. These treatments have the potential to help more people recover from the negative symptoms of fentanyl exposure.