Addressing the Opioid Crisis

The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Brain Research Foundation is trying to help by supporting grants that will reduce opioid relapse.

The BRF has been funding innovative research for almost seventy years. However, in 2018 the foundation decided to invest in a new challenge, the Opioid Crisis.

Opioid Overdoses are taking the lives of a few hundred people each day in the US. That equates to one every nine minutes.

BRF funds research to understand the brain as a whole to fix it.

While research continues with the Opioid Crisis, scientists want it to have an immediate impact.

Studies have been underway to examine relapse reduction, as opioid addicts have a relapse rate as high as 90%. Opioid users in treatment are not medicated, so when they leave, they have lost their opioid tolerance and are at risk if they start using again, even if just once. 

Opioid misuse costs the country billions of dollars. As a result, the BRF receives many pleas for funding such research. Unfortunately, BRF only had the funds for two seed grants out of forty applications.

With more money, they would have been able to fund more studies which would accelerate the development of medications for relapse.

The country has seen an increase of 30% in overdoses. In the Midwest, the increase has been 70%.

A case study is discussed in this video about a young woman who was using Opioids for the pain that she was experiencing from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Much like alcohol, one builds up a tolerance level, and people increase their intake to reach the same level of “comfort.” When doctors would no longer prescribe more for her, she took to the streets to access them, which led to her tragic demise.

Watch this interesting YouTube video to learn more about this critical topic

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