Due to the dramatic and widespread increase in opioid addiction, the scientific community has responded by investing in new therapies to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal and treatments designed to address addiction issues.
In addition to that good work, some researchers are also asking that we spend time investigating the underpinnings of addiction. Specifically, they suggest that we should learn more about the basic biology of pain and how precision medicine can help us predict how patients will respond to certain prescription painkillers.
In an article published recently in the journal Science, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania recommend that we adopt a paradigm shift. Instead of solely focusing on treatment methodologies, we should also go back to the basics and investigate the nature of pain and how people differ in their response to various pain medications. Armed with this information, clinicians can administer prescription painkillers more precisely and reduce the risk of triggering an addiction.
"Pain is a syndrome that is poorly understood and research on pain is poorly resourced relative to its prevalence and cost, especially in terms of shattered lives and lost productivity," writes Tilo Grosser, MD, one of the lead authors and an associate professor of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania.
To tackle the opioid epidemic, the researchers suggest that we employ a broader strategy. Specifically, addiction research should help us better understand the physiology of pain. They recommend that additional studies should investigate how and why individuals respond differently to pain. And, the researchers also suggest that more can be learned by exploring the difference between inflammatory and neuropathic pain, the heritability of pain awareness and the spectrum of acute and chronic pain.
By investigating the biology and mechanics of pain, we can help to prevent addiction before it occurs. At Christian Rehab Network, it’s encouraging that more scientists are recognizing the need to develop safer and less addictive treatment therapies for pain. Let’s keep this positive momentum going.
If you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, our compassionate staff is here to help. At Christian Rehab Network, we can help verify your insurance coverage and benefits and ensure you get connected with the right center that specializes in addressing your specific needs. And, we can take care of all the paperwork so you don’t have to during a time of crisis. Let us help you find the best drug or alcohol rehab center to meet your individual needs. Contact us today at (877) 310-9545.
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.