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Hanson leaves no stone unturned in this invaluable examination of why people become addicted.

Marijuana policy dilemma

Kreek, M. Leshner, A. Miller, William, and Kathleen, Carroll, Eds. New York: The Guilford Press, Women under the Influence. Vaillant, G. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, This Sunday February 14th 9 p. ET , the Emmy-nominated Brain Games tv-show is back!

Wonder junkie Jason Silva returns to our screens, teaming up with Share This Article. Further Reading. He currently edits the Addiction Inbox blog, and is senior contributing editor for the addiction and recovery website, The Fix.

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Is Addiction a Disease? Science Says Yes

Make A Donation. Latest Comments. All Rights Reserved. The action is "necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety," the agency said, citing the plant's high potential for abuse and 15 kratom-related deaths in the last two years and that mitragynine has "no currently accepted medical use" in the United States.

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But on Oct. Researchers like Susruta Majumdar, a chemist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, say the agency has overlooked the promise from current research, which shows the compound has far fewer side effects than conventional opioids. One of the benefits they noted was that mice do not build up tolerance to the compound, nor do they show signs of addiction. In morphine, mice built up a tolerance after just five days. But the DEA ban could slow them down. They would have to apply for a schedule 1 license, an onerous process, according to Laura Bohn, professor at Scripps Research Institute.

The DEA originally planned to impose the ban by Sept. PZM21 rose to the surface after scientists used computer modeling to test more than 3 million known chemical compounds, narrowing it down to the most promising one and chemically tweaking it to ensure it hit specific opioid receptors. While it is only in the early stages of animal testing, the new compound has a lot of potential, said University of California, San Francisco, chemistry professor Shoichet, one of the authors on the PZM21 paper recently published in Nature.

A recent study on mice showed the analgesic effects of PZM21 last substantially longer than those of morphine, and resulted in less respiratory depression and constipation than conventional opioids. It also causes less activation of the brain's reward system, indicating it might be less addictive. Shoichet, Roth and two other authors of the paper founded a biotech company, Epiodyne, to carry out further animal tests and take the compound through the drug development process.

Despite the potential of these three compounds, Bohn at the Scripps Research Institute cautions researchers and the press against making larger-than-life claims — just because you see positive results in a mouse model doesn't mean that will necessarily translate to humans. Bohn said history has taught her to be cautiously optimistic.

When OxyContin was first introduced, there were claims it wouldn't be addictive. Today it is a highly abused opioid.


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It's important to pursue these compounds carefully, Bohn said. This story has been updated to reflect DEA decision to open comment period on kratom on Oct. Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox. Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about our products and services. Privacy Policy. All Rights Reserved. Data also provided by. Skip Navigation. After marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most commonly misused substances by Americans age 14 and older. VIDEO Power Lunch. The whole field is sort of opening up, and there's hope that there's molecules that at least don't cause respiratory depression.

Cannabis: A Gateway to Recovery?

That's what kills people on opioids. Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical company Trevena's oliceridine has been given preferential regulatory treatment by the FDA. Kratom is made from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa, a Southeast Asian tree related to coffee. Although it's receiving pushback from the DEA, scientists say kratom contains alkaloids that have the potential to reduce pain without addiction.

It could take years before the compound leads to a new drug, though. Related Tags.


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