A team of international researchers developed a new opioid drug that has the ability to block pain without causing the dangerous effects that the current drugs cause. According to the leaders from the team, they had to start from scratch so as to ensure that they eliminate any possible cause for side effects while developing the new drug. There are more than four trillion chemical interactions that had to be explored in the making of the drug and this had to take a lot of time and observation. The team consisted of researchers from Stanford University of North Carolina, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany, and many other contributing professionals.
A study that was published online by the team on August 17, 2016 shows that the researchers focused on the atomic structure of the brain and the chemicals that are likely to trigger them into a certain trend. For instance, the drug has been made in such a way that it does not interfere with breathing, which is the leading cause of deaths especially during overdoses in heroin and similar drugs. Additionally, it does not cause constipation, and does not trigger the addiction driven circuitry in the brain. This is a major invention, especially when the leading cause of addiction is when the brain is subjected to a specific cycle that is caused by drugs and so, it becomes dependent on them.
However, everything is not complete yet. Based on the available information, there is more work that should be done to make sure that the new drug is perfect for this role. For instance, there still needs to be an assurance that this newly formulated compound is one hundred percent non-addictive. Experts also have to prove that it is safe for use in humans just the same way that is has been in rodents. Regardless of the work that has yet to be done, there is no doubt that this new invention can greatly transform the fight against the drug abuse epidemic in the entire US. According to the latest statistics, prescription painkillers addiction has been a growing trend over the past several years.
Projections show that deaths resulting from opioid drug overdoses have been on the increase for decades despite the fact that governments and other leaders have even working around the clock to reduce them and eventual, eliminate the crisis altogether. That more than 28,000 Americans lost their lives in 2914 alone because of drug overdoses is cause for alarm and calls for urgent effective measures to curb the epidemic. If there is a drug that can help anyone to manage pain, especially the chronic one, without fueling addiction, that is what everyone needs. It would save the communities and families from the agonies that they have to go through for many years.
Although opioids are clearly damaging and can cause serious addiction problems, they remain an integral part of modern medicine. Currently, they are the only weapon that doctors have when it comes to managing pain and so, finding a way to make them less harmful can have a lot of benefits.