Tag Archives: heroin awareness

You should know that what are the treatments for heroin addiction?

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A variety of effective treatments are available for heroin addiction, including both behavioral and pharmacological (medications). Both approaches help to restore a degree of normalcy to brain function and behavior, resulting in increased employment rates and lower risk of HIV and other diseases and criminal behavior. Although behavioral and pharmacologic treatments can be extremely useful when utilized alone, research shows that for some people, integrating both types of treatments is the most effective approach.

Pharmacological Treatment (Medications)

Scientific research has established that pharmacological treatment of opioid addiction increases retention in treatment programs and decreases drug use, infectious disease transmission, and criminal activity.

When people addicted to opioids first quit, they undergo withdrawal symptoms (pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting), which may be severe. Medications can be helpful in this detoxification stage to ease craving and other physical symptoms, which often prompt a person to relapse. While not a treatment for addiction itself, detoxification is a useful first step when it is followed by some form of evidence-based treatment.

Medications developed to treat opioid addiction work through the same opioid receptors as the addictive drug, but are safer and less likely to produce the harmful behaviors that characterize addiction. Three types of medications include: (1) agonists, which activate opioid receptors; (2) partial agonists, which also activate opioid receptors but produce a smaller response; and (3) antagonists, which block the receptor and interfere with the rewarding effects of opioids. A particular medication is used based on a patient’s specific medical needs and other factors. Effective medications include:

  • Methadone (Dolophine® or Methadose®) is a slow-acting opioid agonist. Methadone is taken orally so that it reaches the brain slowly, dampening the “high” that occurs with other routes of administration while preventing withdrawal symptoms. Methadone has been used since the 1960s to treat heroin addiction and is still an excellent treatment option, particularly for patients who do not respond well to other medications. Methadone is only available through approved outpatient treatment programs, where it is dispensed to patients on a daily basis.
  • Buprenorphine (Subutex®) is a partial opioid agonist. Buprenorphine relieves drug cravings without producing the “high” or dangerous side effects of other opioids. Suboxone® is a novel formulation of buprenorphine that is taken orally or sublingually and contains naloxone (an opioid antagonist) to prevent attempts to get high by injecting the medication. If an addicted patient were to inject Suboxone, the naloxone would induce withdrawal symptoms, which are averted when taken orally as prescribed. FDA approved buprenorphine in 2002, making it the first medication eligible to be prescribed by certified physicians through the Drug Addiction Treatment Act. This approval eliminates the need to visit specialized treatment clinics, thereby expanding access to treatment for many who need it. In February 2013, FDA approved two generic forms of Suboxone, making this treatment option more affordable.
  • Naltrexone (Depade® or Revia®) is an opioid antagonist. Naltrexone blocks the action of opioids, is not addictive or sedating, and does not result in physical dependence; however, patients often have trouble complying with the treatment, and this has limited its effectiveness. An injectable long-acting formulation of naltrexone (Vivitrol®) recently received FDA approval for treating opioid addiction. Administered once a month, Vivitrol® may improve compliance by eliminating the need for daily dosing.

Behavioral Therapies

The many effective behavioral treatments available for heroin addiction can be delivered in outpatient and residential settings. Approaches such as contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy have been shown to effectively treat heroin addiction, especially when applied in concert with medications. Contingency management uses a voucher-based system in which patients earn “points” based on negative drug tests, which they can exchange for items that encourage healthy living. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is designed to help modify the patient’s expectations and behaviors related to drug use and to increase skills in coping with various life stressors. An important task is to match the best treatment approach to meet the particular needs of the patient.

Eleven information approximately teenagers And Drug Use read now

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Welcome to DoSomething.Org, one among the largest orgs for young people and social exchange! After you have browsed the eleven statistics (with citations at the lowest), take motion and volunteer with our tens of millions of members. Join up for a marketing campaign and make the arena suck less.

Greater teenagers die from prescription drugs than heroin/cocaine mixed.
In 2013, more high college seniors frequently used marijuana than cigarettes as 22.7% smoked pot in the final month, in comparison to 16.Three% who smoked cigarettes.

60% of seniors do not see ordinary marijana use as harmful, however THC (the lively element inside the drug that reasons addiction) is sort of five times stronger than it turned into twenty years in the past.
1/3 of teenagers who live in states with clinical marijuana legal guidelines get their pot from other people’s prescriptions.
The usa represents five% of the world’s populace and 75% of prescription drugs taken. 60% of teens who abuse pharmaceuticals get them free from pals and spouse and children.

Adderall use (often prescribed to treat ADHD) has accelerated among high college seniors from five.Four% in 2009 to

7.Five% this 12 months.
Fifty four% of excessive faculty seniors do now not suppose normal steroid use is dangerous, the lowest number given that 1980, whilst the national Institute on Drug Abuse started asking approximately belief on steroids.
By means of the eighth grade, 28% of teens have ate up alcohol, 15% have smoked cigarettes, and 16.5% have used marijuana.
Young adults who continuously study the dangers of medication from their parents are as much as 50% less probably to apply pills than people who don’t.
6.Five% of excessive school seniors smoke pot every day, up from five.1% five years ago. Meanwhile, much less than 20% of 12th graders think occasional use is dangerous, while much less than forty% see ordinary use as dangerous (lowest numbers seeing that 1983).
Approximately 50% of excessive faculty seniors do not think it’s dangerous to attempt crack or cocaine a couple of times and forty% consider it is not harmful to use heroin a couple of times.

Home-brew heroin: in the future anyone will be able to make illegal drugs

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Humble fungi and a home-brewing kit could soon do what the combined might of the West failed to – halt the thriving poppy industry in Afghanistan, the source of 80 per cent of the world’s opium. Genetically engineered yeasts could make it easy to produce opiates such as morphine anywhere, cutting out the international drug smugglers and making such drugs cheap and more readily available.

If home-brew drugs become widespread, it would make the Sisyphean nature of stopping the supply of illegal narcotics even more obvious than it is now. “It would be as disruptive to drug enforcement policy as it would be to crime syndicates,” says Tanya Bubela, a public health researcher at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. “It may force the US to rethink its war on drugs.”

A growing number of drugs, scents and flavours once obtainable only from plants can now be made using genetically modified organisms. Researchers want to add opiates to that list because they are part of a family of molecules that may have useful medicinal properties (see box, below). Plant yields of many of these molecules are vanishingly small, and the chemicals are difficult and expensive to make in the lab. Getting yeast to pump them out would be far cheaper.

Morphine ale
Yeasts capable of doing this do not exist yet, but none of the researchers that New Scientist spoke to had any doubt that they soon will. “The field is moving much faster than we had previous realised,” says John Dueber of the University of California, Berkeley, whose team has just created a yeast that produces the main precursor of opiates. Until recently, Dueber had thought the creation of, say, a morphine-making yeast was 10 years away. He now thinks a low-yielding strain could be made in two or three years.

It might take many more years to produce a high-yielding strain. But once it exists, in theory anyone who got hold of it could make morphine in their kitchen using only a home-brewing kit. Merely drinking tiny quantities of the resulting brew – perhaps as little as a few millilitres – would get you high. “It probably is as simple as that,” says Dueber. “The beer would have morphine in it.”

We need to start thinking about the implications now, before such strains – or the recipes for genetically engineering them – become available, he says.

Other teams are working on producing tropane alkaloids – a family of compounds that include drugs such as cocaine. Cocaine-making yeasts are further off, as we still don’t understand certain critical steps that coca plants use to make cocaine. But there’s no reason we cannot engineer yeast to produce any substance that plants produce, once we understand the machinery, says biochemist Peter Facchini of the University of Calgary in Canada. “So indeed someone could potentially produce cocaine in yeast.”

Bringing heroin home
If these kinds of biosynthetic yeasts became widely available, they could transform the drug market. Instead of drugs like heroin and cocaine being grown abroad and imported by criminal gangs, they could be produced locally by individuals or small groups. It would “democratise” production, as Dueber puts it.

Brewing would also be much harder to detect or prevent than the cultivation of drug-yielding plants. Growing cannabis indoors, for instance, requires a lot of electricity to power lights. A drug-producing “microbrewery” would have only a tiny footprint.

Synthesising drugs like methamphetamines in small illegal labs, meanwhile, requires not only expertise but also the right chemical ingredients. Cutting off the supply of these chemicals is one of the main strategies of drug enforcement efforts. This would be impossible with homebrew drugs – the only raw material needed is sugar.

And unlike crystal meth labs, say, brewing does not create a toxic mess: the waste products are just brackish water and some very mild chemicals such as acetate, says Dueber.

In a commentary in Nature, Bubela and her co-authors say governments need to act now if they want now to prevent morphine-making yeasts getting into the wrong hands. Some fear that drug use could soar if home-brewing makes drugs easily available.

Criminal disruption
But it is far from clear that this is true, especially for rich countries such as the UK. Here the war on drugs has failed: opiates like heroin are sold very cheaply on the street, says David Nutt of Imperial College London, a former drug policy adviser to the UK government. “People don’t take them because most of them are not stupid.”

In theory, home-brew drugs could deprive traffickers in countries such as Afghanistan and Colombia of their main source of revenue – money that fuels corruption and other criminal activities, destabilises governments and even funds terrorism. “If I were a member of a criminal syndicate, I would not like this very much,” says Kenneth Oye, a political scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and one of Bubela’s co-authors.

But it is hard to say how things would pan out. “You’d be battling the illicit market with another illicit, home-grown market,” says Dueber. “Is that a good solution? I don’t know.”

Until last year, for instance, coca cultivation in Colombia had been declining. But the criminal gangs didn’t vanish; instead, they turned to illegal mining and logging, says Liliana Davalos of Stony Brook University in New York, who has studied the environmental impacts of coca growing. “The traffickers have shifted their portfolio,” she says. It’s not clear if they are even any poorer.

Kitchen biology
All this assumes that bioengineered yeast capable of making drugs do become widely available. There are two ways for that to happen: a yeast strain could be stolen from a laboratory or legal factory, or someone could genetically engineer ordinary yeast to do it. If all the instructions are out there, recreating the strain from scratch starting with baker’s yeast would not be that difficult, Dueber says. There are already groups of self-styled biohackers, people who tinker with DNA in their spare time in community labs or their own garages. They have no sinister motives, but their existence illustrates the relative ease of DIY genetic engineering.

Oye and Bubela say four kinds of measures are needed. Distributing opiate-making yeasts strains should be made illegal. The strains themselves should be altered to make them hard to grow outside specialised facilities, for instance by making them dependent on unusual nutrients. The strains should also be kept in secure, government-licensed facilities. And companies that sell custom DNA sequences should refuse to supply the genes needed to engineer such strains.

If the history of drug control efforts is anything to go by, though, such measures won’t prevent the cat from being let out of the bag before too long.

Journal references: Commentary by Bubela et al, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/521281a; Paper by Dueber et al., Nature Chemical Biology, DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.1816

Why do we need drug-producing yeasts?

Opiates are a small part of a much bigger family of around 2500 molecules, many of which are thought to have anticancer or antibiotic properties, says John Dueber of the University of California, Berkeley. Getting yeasts to pump out these kinds of molecules cheaply would make it much easier to explore their potential.

To achieve this, Dueber’s group has created yeast that produces S-reticuline, the main precursor of all 2500 molecules, by adding the genes for various plant enzymes. With the addition of further enzymes, it will be possible to create yeast strains that make one or more of these molecules. It will also be possible to create related molecules that do not exist in nature, including new kinds of opiates.

Three other groups have separately worked out the beginning, middle and end parts of the pathway needed to produce opiates from S-reticuline. So in theory we could create an opiate-producing yeast tomorrow by combining their work. In practice it is likely to take years to iron out all the wrinkles.

The aim is not to replace the existing legal supply of opiates, which are made from opium poppies mainly grown in Tasmania, Australia, but to produce novel and innovative forms of opiates, says Kenneth Oye of MIT. There is a real need for safer painkillers, and it might be possible to make opiates that are less addictive and don’t cause breathing problems, a common side-effect, for instance.

Another reason to create drug-producing yeasts, says John D’Auria of Texas Tech University, is for extended crewed space missions. Spacecraft won’t have room to carry every drug that might be needed, but the astronauts could use yeasts to produce them on board as required. His team is working out how to make tropane alkaloids, a family of molecules that includes drugs like atropine, scopolamine and cocaine.