Heroin addicts have higher pain sensitivity, even during treatment

April 25, 2012
Heroin addicts have higher pain sensitivity, even during treatment
Those taking methadone continue to have heightened pain responses, study finds.

(HealthDay) -- Heroin addicts often have an increased sensitivity to pain, and this sensitivity does not subside over the course of treatment with methadone or other opioids, new research finds.

Researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles sought to determine how increased sensitivity to pain (also called hyperalgesia) might change as a heroin addict moves from drug abuse to stabilization and eventually to maintenance on a pain-treatment opioid such as methadone or buprenorphine.

The investigators assessed the pain responses of 82 heroin addicts who sought treatment and were given either methadone or buprenorphine. The addicts' pain responses were compared to people who didn't use drugs.

Pain responses in both groups were measured using electrical stimulation and the cold pressor test, in which a hand is placed in ice cold water.

The results showed no significant changes in among heroin addicts who took either methadone or for .

The study appears in The Journal of Pain.

Doctors need to be aware of opioid-induced associated with addiction in patients prescribed opioids as well as those taking the drugs illegally, according to the study.

Explore further: Harmful patterns of painkiller prescriptions seen among methadone patients

More information: The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about treatments for drug addiction.

Related Stories

Harmful patterns of painkiller prescriptions seen among methadone patients

November 28, 2011
A new study has shown harmful prescription patterns of powerful painkillers among a substantial number of Ontario patients who received methadone therapy to treat their opioid addiction.

Suboxone is most effective in treating painkiller addiction

November 7, 2011
Individuals addicted to prescription painkillers are more likely to succeed in treatment with the aid of the medication buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone), report McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School researchers in today's ...

Recommended for you

Marijuana use may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment

December 4, 2017
Many patients who are being treated for opioid addiction in a medication-assisted treatment clinic use marijuana to help manage their pain and mood symptoms.

For opiate addiction, study finds drug-assisted treatment is more effective than detox

November 23, 2017
Say you're a publicly insured Californian with an addiction to heroin, fentanyl or prescription narcotics, and you want to quit.

Study finds medical cannabis is effective at reducing opioid addiction

November 17, 2017
A new study conducted by researchers at The University of New Mexico, involving medical cannabis and prescription opioid use among chronic pain patients, found a distinct connection between having the legal ability to use ...

Insomnia linked to alcohol-use frequency among early adolescents, says new psychology study

November 8, 2017
Insomnia is linked to frequency of alcohol use among early adolescents, according to new Rutgers University–Camden research.

Large declines seen in teen substance abuse, delinquency

October 25, 2017
More than a decade of data indicates teens have become far less likely to abuse alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs, and they also are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors, such as fighting and stealing, according ...

Trying to get sober? NIH offers tool to help find good care

October 3, 2017
The phone calls come—from fellow scientists and desperate strangers—with a single question for the alcohol chief at the National Institutes of Health: Where can my loved one find good care to get sober?

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dirk_bruere
not rated yet Apr 26, 2012
So building a tolerance to opiates makes them less effective in treating pain.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.