Medicaid Spending on Opioid Addiction Treatment Has Risen Dramatically: Report

A new report finds spending on Medicaid-covered prescriptions for the treatment of opioid use disorder and opioid overdose increased dramatically between 2011 and 2016, according to NPR. The largest increase occurred after 2014.

The report by the Urban Institute found between 2011 and 2016, Medicaid spending on opioid use disorder treatment prescriptions for buprenorphine, naltrexone, and naloxone increased 136 percent, from $394.2 million to $929.9 million. Most of the money went to buprenorphine (sold as Suboxone), for which spending increased 98 percent between 2011 and 2016, from $380.9 million to $753.9 million.

Full story of risen Medicaid spending on opioid addiction treatment at drugfree.org

Clinical trial looks at tramadol for opioid withdrawal

A randomized clinical trial published by JAMA Psychiatry compared tramadol extended-release with clonidine and buprenorphine for the management of opioid withdrawal symptoms in patients with opioid use disorder in a residential research setting.

Opioid use disorder is a public health problem that has contributed to unprecedented levels of overdose deaths. Detoxification – or medically supervised withdrawal – is a widely used treatment for opioid use disorder. However, failing to adequately manage opioid withdrawal symptoms can contribute to people leaving treatment.

Clonidine and buprenorphine are two medications widely used to manage opioid withdrawal. Tramadol hydrochloride is a promising alternative option for effective opioid use disorder treatment, according to the article.

Full story of tramadol and opioid withdrawal at Science Daily

In rats that can’t control glutamate, cocaine is less rewarding, staving off relapse

Rats missing a neuroreceptor that controls the release of the neurotransmitter glutamate are less amenable to the rewarding effects of cocaine, increasing their chance of kicking the habit once addicted, researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) find. Their work, appearing July 11 in Cell Reports, suggests that the receptor, which protects nerve cells from fatal inundation by excess glutamate, is involved in modulating the reward-seeking behavior associated with drug addiction.

By silencing the gene responsible for expressing the receptor, called mGluR2, the researchers studied its effect across the stages of the cocaine addiction cycle. Rats without the receptor were more likely to consume cocaine when it was made freely available but less likely to seek out cocaine when they had to demonstrate more effort to obtain it. When cocaine was no longer available to them, the rats were quicker to cease the behaviors that had previously resulted in the drug’s delivery. Even when cocaine was subsequently re-introduced, they showed reduced interest for drug seeking, constituting a lower rate of relapse.

Full story of glutamate control from control use at Science Daily

Childhood psychiatric disorders increase risk for later adult addiction

Children’s health and well-being while growing up can be indicators of the potential health issues they may encounter years later. A study published in the July 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry(JAACAP) suggests that a childhood psychiatric disorder increases the risk of developing addiction later in life. Based on a large amount of data from previous studies on these participants, the researchers identified a correlation between various psychiatric disorders among children and later risk of developing addictions.

The team, led by researchers from the Child Study group at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and Accare, the Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands, found that individuals diagnosed in childhood with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)/conduct disorder (CD), and depression had an increased risk of developing addictions. Interestingly, results concerning anxiety were less clear. The risk may depend on the specific type of anxiety disorder, but to date, no studies have focused on this topic.

Full story of childhood psychiatric disorders and adult addiction at Science Daily

Why does prenatal alcohol exposure increase the likelihood of addiction?

One of the many negative consequences when fetuses are exposed to alcohol in the womb is an increased risk for drug addiction later in life. Neuroscientists in the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions are discovering why.

Through a research grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Senior Research Scientist Roh-Yu Shen, PhD, is studying how prenatal alcohol exposure alters the reward system in the brain and how this change continues through adulthood.

The key appears to lie with endocannibinoids, cannabis-like chemicals that are produced by the brain itself.

Full story of prenatal alcohol exposure and addiction at Science Daily