January 15, 2019 – Helping Opioid Addiction


Anchor lead: What are the possibilities when it comes to medicines for addiction? Elizabeth Tracey reports

As deaths from opioids continue apace, figuring out how best to help people overcome addiction is more important than ever, with one recent study comparing the cost effectiveness of a monthly injection called naltrexone versus a combination daily oral formulation, with the monthly injections emerging as less cost effective. Eric Strain, a drug abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, says they do have a place.

Strain: I think there’s a very important role for monthly injections of naltrexone, an opiate antagonist. I think it’s an effective medication, and I think it addresses nicely the adherence issue, so I am strongly in favor of it. Not at the expense of daily buprenorphine doses or methadone doses necessarily but I think it should be strongly considered as one of a multitude of treatment options.  :25

Strain says having a number of options is especially important as one size most certainly does not fit all when it comes to helping people overcome opioid addiction, which often requires multiple attempts. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.