A Better Drug To Treat Heroin Addicts

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I'm Shelby Cullinan with today's health news. Heroin use among young adults in the US has more than doubled in the last decade. The illegal, highly addictive opioid drug is hard to kick and easy to relapse on. New research suggests one drug could help. According to a press release issued by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, a new study found that the once-a-month drug naltrexone is more effective at preventing heroin and opioid relapses in ex-prisoners than standard treatments. The study team followed nearly 300 heroin or opioid-addicted ex-prisoners in a six-month randomized trial. The patients were divided into two groups—one that received extended-release naltrexone and a control group that received counseling and community treatment programs. The 153 patients in the naltrexone group received monthly injections and all patients were followed and monitored. After six months, 64 percent of the control group had relapsed, compared to only 43 percent of the naltrexone group. It also took the naltrexone group longer to relapse than the control group—an average of 10.5 weeks compared to five weeks. The study also found that while some of the patients in the control group suffered overdoses, none in the naltrexone group did, even after 18 months. For dailyRx, I'm Shelby Cullinan."


"I remember driving down the highway with a friend one day. He turned to me and said ‘do you realize what we are doinng? We are ruining our lives."


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