Could targeting oxtyocin help treat opioid addiction?

April 5, 2017, Wiley
Pills. Credit: Public Domain

A new review of published research indicates that the oxytocin system—a key player in social reward and stress regulation—is profoundly affected by opioid use. Therefore, it may be an important target for developing medications to treat opioid addiction and to prevent relapse.

"Social withdrawal is one of the key factors that can predispose people to heroin but is also a consequence of drug use," said Dr. Alexis Bailey, senior author of the British Journal of Pharmacology review.

"Given the benefits that social support programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have in keeping addicts abstinent, current findings in the review suggest the use of the prosocial hormone oxytocin as a novel effective 'psycho-biological therapy' for the prevention of relapse to drug-use in drug dependent individuals. Therefore clinical studies assessing the efficacy of oxytocin-based pharmacotherapies in addiction are warranted."

Explore further: Opioid users treated in drug detention centers more likely to relapse

More information: British Journal of Pharmacology (2017). DOI: 10.1111/bph.13757

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BubbaNicholson
1 / 5 (1) Apr 05, 2017
A single dose of 250mg of healthy adult male facial skin surface lipid delivered by mouth cures opioid addiction without withdrawal symptoms. Side effects (patient and staff) include astonishment/stupidity, arrogance, superstition, suspicion, and jealousy. Kissing partners inevitably become artificially jealous when they "taste" the untastable pheromone on the treated patient's saliva. Use supplied air respirators for staff, use oscillating fans to break up airborne pheromone plumes emitted by collected skin surface pheromone, seal collected pheromone in airtight packaging with activated charcoal dunnage packs, 40 day social isolation for treated addicts (until the pheromone clears). Ethanol clears the pheromone temporarily.

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