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Health and medicine/Diseases and disorders/Substance related disorders/Addiction/Narcotics addiction/Heroin addiction

Deaths by accidental overdose of opioids are rising sharply, due to a new source of more potent, readily available synthetic opioid drugs. Opioid overdoses have already caused the country’s overall death rate to increase in 2015, the first time since 1993, when the country was coming to grips with AIDS. And, “the worst is yet to come,” a drug court judge said during a panel at the 2017 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Forum, which was held March 27-28 in Washington.
Treating the growing numbers of opioid addicts will require anti-addiction medications and coordinating treatment for people within criminal justice system, medical experts said.

New research with rats and human volunteers suggests a strategy to help ex-drug addicts avoid drug cravings. The approach involves modifying a person’s memories of past drug use, but unlike previous research in this field, the new method doesn’t involve administering memory-blocking drugs.

Stressors such as poverty, parental neglect, social stigma and physical or sexual abuse can increase a person’s vulnerability to drugs, and that has implications for the treatment of addicted individuals, particularly juveniles, who are imprisoned, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) told a meeting at AAAS.