Opioid Painkiller May Be New Treatment for Heroin Addicts

Hydromorphone — an opioid painkiller — may be another treatment option for heroin addiction, a new Canadian study suggests.

The research included more than 200 heroin addicts in Vancouver. They hadn't responded to commonly used treatments such as methadone or suboxone. This was the first study to assess the effectiveness of hydromorphone in treating heroin addiction, the researchers noted.

The participants were randomly selected to receive injections of either hydromorphone or diacetylmorphine (pharmaceutical-grade prescription heroin). The injections were given in a clinic under the supervision of a health care professional.

Robert Preidt reports

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