A new study could revive an abandoned theory about how to treat narcolepsy, the thus-far incurable disorder that makes people chronically sleepy. And it could also provide a new lead on how to treat drug addiction.
Tagged With opioids
Earlier this week, the US National Institutes of Health revealed its new plan to tackle the US opioid crisis, which it dubbed the Helping to End Addiction Long-term, or HEAL, initiative. Among the ideas presented are research programs devoted to better understanding chronic pain, developing new non-opioid painkillers and addiction treatments, and speeding up the clinical trial process to test out these potential drugs.
Who you are is the result of a complicated interplay between your environment, your genes, and probably a few other factors science has yet to uncover. Genetics influence somewhere around half of a person's "vulnerability to addiction," according to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse. Now, as opioid addiction has reached epidemic levels in the US, researchers have shed light on the role one specific gene plays in influencing the risk of opioid addiction.
This week, United States Senator Claire McCaskill released a report on the findings of a congressional investigation into the practices of pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics. The jaw-dropping allegations detail the process in which agents systematically convinced insurers to pay for a highly-addictive opioid cancer pain drug for patients who didn't have cancer.