Due in part to the high prices direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C infection, many Medicaid programs are not offering them to injection drug users, nor are some states and institutions seeking these patients out for testing to see if they have the virus.
But a new study shows that even when drug-users do not give up their habit, they can be safely and effectively treated for the lethal virus.
Donor livers are scarce, donated organs are precious, and transplant surgeons make the final call on whether to transplant. When the question of whether to give a liver to a patient who uses marijuana, drinks too much alcohol, or even smokes tobacco comes up, the issue gets tricky.
Researchers appear to have identified a specific molecule that controls morphine receptor signaling in a small group of brain cells. The particular regulator of G protein signaling protein is called RGS7 and has been identified as a novel regulator of the μ-opioid receptor, which morphine acts upon to mediate its euphoric and analgesic effects.
A program that integrated addiction treatment into primary care for patients with, or at risk for, HIV appears to successfully engage and treat patients with substance dependence. Developed by researchers at Boston Medical Center, the program was shown to reduce substance dependence and encourage engagement in treatment.