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>>RECOVERY NEWS<< Clinical Trials of Alcoholism Drug May Help Heroin Addicts Too

Posted Nov 17 2009 12:00am

The Boston Herald today is reporting that clinical trials of a drug commonly used to help alcoholics may be effective in opioid addiction:

Cambridge biotech company Alkermes Inc. said its drug Vivitrol, which is used to help alcoholics quit drinking, may also help opioid addicts kick their habits.

A recent late-stage clinical trial of the non-narcotic, non-addictive injectible form of naltrexonev showed that opioid addicts who took the drug once a month were more likely to stay off drugs than others who received a placebo. The study also showed that patients who took the drug had reduced cravings.

Earlier this month, state Sen. Steven Tolman (D-Boston) said Massachusetts is in the throes of a heroin and OxyContin “epidemic.” Tolman, who headed a special state commission, pointed out that more Americans have died of opiate-related overdoses between 2002 and 2007 than have perished in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

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