There is a lot of good work being done to combat the opioid epidemic. Educators are helping medical students better understand the signs and symptoms of abuse, clinicians are advocating for more holistic pain management methods and state agencies are compiling prescription registries to combat the practice of “doctor shopping”.
In this same vein, one of the most promising advancements in research has somewhat surprising roots. In the Caribbean Sea, actually.
Scientists at the University of Utah have discovered a compound, derived from a tiny snail, that blocks pain but avoids the addictive pathways of traditional opioids.
Researchers studied the Conus regius species, a small marine cone snail whose venom packs quite a punch, capable of paralyzing and killing its prey. But, it also has one curious side-effect. The venom produced by this tiny snail may actually have therapeutic applications. Specifically, it can help relieve pain but without the addictive qualities of traditional opioids.
Researchers published their findings in a recent edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In this article, the lead authors of the study assert that Rg1A (derived from the snail) acts on a pain pathway in a different way than standard opioid drugs. This pathway adds to the small number of nonopioid-based pathways that could be explored to treat chronic pain.
"What is particularly exciting about these results is the aspect of prevention," said J. Michael McIntosh, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah Health Sciences. "Once chronic pain has developed, it is difficult to treat. This compound offers a potential new pathway to prevent pain from developing in the first place and offer a new therapy to patients who have run out of options."
"RgIA4 works by an entirely new pathway, which opens the door for new opportunities to treat pain," said McIntosh. "We feel that drugs that work by this pathway may reduce burden of opioid use."
Chronic and debilitating pain is a harsh reality for many Americans. But, we can reduce their risk of developing an addiction to prescription painkillers with more advanced treatments that are engineered to bypass addictive pathways. At Christian Rehab Network, we are inspired to learn about this, and other research projects designed to help us do just that.
Whether you’re in need of mental health services, inpatient addiction treatment or supervised drug detox, you can rest assured the provider we match you with will be able to treat you with the kind of Christian based care you need to heal your mind, body, and spirit. You’ll find that strength comes easily and your will power is seemingly fortified by the presence of the Lord in your recovery process, and we are here to ensure you find a facility that leads you down his path and into sobriety for the rest of your life. To inquire about insurance and private payment options for adolescent drug rehabilitation, call (877) 310-9545 or submit a secure online inquiry today.