Brain Scientists Are Working to Reduce Opioid Addiction, But We Need Solutions Now
More than 2 million people in the U.S. are currently abusing opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s a crisis that has the potential to get much worse. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 25 million people are living with chronic pain.
A recent NPR article details the different approaches brain scientists are taking to develop new drugs that could reduce opioid addiction. “We know a lot more about pain and addiction than we used to,” says Edward Bilsky, a pharmacologist interviewed in the article. “But it’s been hard to get a practical drug.”
One of the options on the table is venom from a cone snail, which contains peptides that act as a powerful painkiller. The peptides do not affect the brain’s pleasure and reward circuits in the same way opioids do. In fact, a snail venom-based drug called Prialt is already on the market, but delivery of the drug is difficult. It must be injected directly into the spinal cord.
At Feinberg Consulting, we’re excited about the great work these brain scientists are doing. It has the potential to save lives, but millions of people need help right now. And we know how to help.
“Depression and isolation can also amplify pain,” Bilsky says in the NPR article. “If a person in pain stays home instead of [doing their normal activities], that feeds an escalation in pain.”
He’s exactly right. Chronic pain is one contributor to addiction, but there are many other crucial factors. That’s why our approach takes all important factors into account when creating treatment and recovery plans for our clients. These individualized recovery plans are the best option for long-term recovery, both for individuals struggling with addiction and their families.