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Tag: opioids

Can Virtual Reality Help Ease Chronic Pain?

Article Excerpt: Chronic pain is generally defined as pain that has lasted three months or longer. It is one of the leading causes of long-term disability in the world. By some measures, 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, in part because the power of medicine to relieve pain remains woefully inadequate. As Daniel Clauw, who runs the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, put it in a 2019 lecture, there isn’t “any drug in any chronic-pain state that works in better than one out of three people.” He went on to say that nonpharmacological therapy should instead be “front and center in managing chronic pain — rather than opioids, or for that matter, any of our drugs.”Virtual reality is emerging as an unlikely tool for solving this intractable problem. The V.R. segment in health care alone, which according to some estimates is already valued at billions of dollars, is expected to grow by multiples of that in the next few years, with researchers seeing potential for it to help with everything from anxiety and depression to rehabilitation after strokes to surgeons strategizing where they will cut and stitch. In November, the Food and Drug Administration gave authorization for the first V.R. product to be marketed for the treatment of chronic pain.

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Article Source: The New York Times Magazine


OSU Students Create App to Report ‘Bad Batches’, Cut Down on Overdose Deaths

Article Excerpt: In the fall of 2020, a group led by Ohio State students launched an app designed to cut down on overdose deaths in central Ohio. The app alerts users to “bad batches” of drugs, laced with deadly substances such as fentanyl. The team is currently working on a revamped new version of the app they hope will make it even easier to report bad drugs and prevent overdoses.

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Article Source: WOSU Public Media


Implementing a Pharmacist-Integrated Collaborative Model of Medication Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (PharmICO) –

Article Excerpt: Study about a treatment model for opioid use disorder with Lisa A. Marsch, Director of the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health as the principal investigator.

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Article Source: Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine News


What Euphoria Gets Right—and Wrong—About Teen Drug Use and Addiction

Article Excerpt: The show (Euphoria) has sparked controversy over how it portrays teen drug use. In January, D.A.R.E.—the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program—criticized the show for “glorify[ing]” high school drug use and making it seem “common and widespread in today’s world.” But drug use is not uncommon among high school students today. In the U.S., about 1.6 million kids ages 12 to 17—6.3% of the adolescent population—had substance use disorder in 2020, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “That’s a huge problem,” says Dr. Lynn Fiellin, professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine and Child Study Center, who is trained in addiction medicine and behavioral health (and who is a fan of the show). The problem seems to be growing, too; in 2020, millions more kids tried drugs for the first time. “Euphoria depicts exactly what is going on,” she says.

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Article Source: Time


Wearable Sensor May Help Curb Opioid Relapses, Overdoses

Article Excerpt: Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Syracuse University and SUNY Upstate Medical University have collaborated to create a wireless senor designed to prevent opioid relapses and overdoses. The opioid epidemic has steadily worsened across the country since the late 1990s. In 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the U.S. died from opioid-related overdoses, according to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Further, around 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, the federal data shows.To combat this issue, the research team — headed by Tauhidur Rahman, PhD, an assistant professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at UMass Amherst and co-director of the MOSAIC Lab — is developing a sensor, which will use machine learning to pinpoint psychophysiological signs in real time and determine whether they are consistent with opioid cravings. Cravings are one of the main drivers behind relapses and overdoses.

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Article Source: mHealth Intelligence

Personalized, Interactive, cognitive behavioral therapy–based digital therapeutic (MODIA) for adjunctive treatment of opioid use disorder: Development study

Meyer B, Utter G, Hillman CA. (2021). Personalized, Interactive, cognitive behavioral therapy–based digital therapeutic (MODIA) for adjunctive treatment of opioid use disorder: Development study. JMIR Ment Health 2021;8(10):e31173. doi: 10.2196/31173

MODIA is a digital therapeutic developed to provide treatment for patients with opioid use disorder. MODIA is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and designed to be used together with a clinician-supervised medication treatment program. MODIA is personalized and interactive and includes CBT activities and skill development to cope with substance cravings, withdrawal symptoms, high risk use situations, and mental health symptoms. MODIA also gives users the option to make a customized relapse prevention plan. Researchers used a software technology (Broca) that tailors content based on users’ ongoing responses during use of MODIA. The MODIA program can be accessed through any device with an Internet connection (i.e., smartphones, laptops, tablets). There are 24 modules or “chats” and patients are instructed to complete 1 or 2 chats per week. Throughout the program, there are self-rated surveys to assess the patient’s progress and symptoms. Researchers hypothesize that MODIA may improve opioid use disorder management and lead to better psychological outcomes for patients. Currently, MODIA is a prescription-only device ordered by a clinician and it has not been clinically tested.


The Powerful Pairing of Telemedicine and Opioid Addiction Treatment

Article Excerpt: Today, however, smartphones assist with many different aspects of our lives, including powering telemedicine and its potential to achieve successful outcomes for patients facing opioid addiction. Effective treatments are more important than ever, as opioid addiction and overdoses have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. A staggering 100,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in the past 12 months,3 a figure that will undoubtedly continue growing unless needed care reaches more individuals struggling with addiction. Fortunately, modern advances in smartphone technology and video conferencing software set the stage for telemedicine to enter the fight against this scourge. In this emerging and unique application of telemedicine, it’s crucial to tackle a central question: what treatment can be paired with medicine to deliver the best patient outcomes?

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Article Source: Modern Healthcare


Smartwatch to Detect Opioid Cravings, Offer Interventions

Article Excerpt: In what could prevent opioid users from misusing drugs, experts are working on a project to develop smartwatches with the ability to detect emotional and psychological patterns opioid users show hours before indulging in substance abuse. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Smart and Connected Health program, an independent agency funded by the United States government. The University of Massachusetts recently announced that “a research team … has received a $1.1 million grant to further develop a smartwatch sensor designed to support the long-term recovery of people with opioid use disorder (OUD).”

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Article Source: TRT World


Pear Therapeutics Receives FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for Prescription Digital Therapeutic Candidate to Treat Alcohol Use Disorder

Article Excerpt: Pear Therapeutics, the leader in developing and commercializing software-based medicines called prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs), today announced that it has received Breakthrough Device Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its reSET-A™ PDT product candidate designed for the treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD). reSET-A potentially expands Pear’s addiction franchise, which includes FDA-authorized products to treat substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD). This is the second such Breakthrough Device Designation received by Pear, following the designation awarded for reSET-O®, the first ever for a PDT, which was for the treatment of OUD.

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Article Source: BioSpace