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New Treatments for Addiction: Behavioral, Ethical, Legal, and Social Questions
ing to develop and obtain FDA approval for their products. Their primary advantage is expected to be in greater adherence, since dosing will only be about once every 30 days, instead of daily. One noteworthy issue is that patients on depot therapies who need treatment for acute pain (e.g., due to trauma) will present problems because naltrexone blocks opioid analgesics as well as illicit opioids. Special protocols (medications, dosing) will be required to treat pain for patients on naltrexone.
This consideration of the medical basis for immunotherapy and sustained-release formulations for treating drug addiction has led to one major recommendation by the committee, but several recommendations in subsequent sections are also related to the medical basis for these therapies.
Recommendation 1 The National Institute on Drug Abuse should support basic immunology studies on increasing the stability and longevity of antibody blood levels and on developing combination therapies to simultaneously treat a variety of abused drugs.