Advancements in the Treatment of Opioid Abuse Disorder

Faculty Advisor

Michael LaFontaine PhD

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Medicine and Health Sciences


Over the past twenty years, opioid drug use has increased, causing an epidemic of opioid abuse that is killing tens of thousands of people every year. Current treatment options for opioid abuse disorder include alternative medications for patient’s addiction and pain, as well as different cognitive and behavioral therapies. However, the addiction medication alternatives are often other opioids, and the alternative pain medication are often not as effective as analgesics. The future of treatment for opioid abuse disorder lies in the development of vaccines that prevent addiction to begin with. However, the vaccines currently in development block not only the addiction potential, but also the analgesic effect, so more effective non-opioid pain medications are also being established. This paper explores the current and future treatment options for opioid abuse disorder, as well as defines who is most likely to be affected, public policy created to treat and prevent opioid abuse disorder, and why stigma against patients with opioid abuse disorder is hindering individuals from seeking help and receiving successful treatment.


Copyright 2018 all authors

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