Good News, Junkies: Scientists Block Addictive Properties of Opioids, Keep Painkilling Factor Intact
Anyone who has ever been in the hospital for a major injury knows one incontrovertible fact about morphine: It is pretty damn spectacular. Opioids have been in use as pain relievers for centuries, and we have yet to find anything that is anywhere near as effective at managing physical discomfort. Morphine was the best painkiller surgeons had on hand hundreds of years ago, and it's still among the best today. Its only drawback, really, is that it's too good. The pain releiving qualities of opioids are deeply intertwined with the qualities that make it one of the most addictive substances known to science. A collaboration between researchers at the University of Colorado and Australia's University of Adelaide may have hit the jackpot of pain relief, though. In a paper to be published later this week in the Journal of Neuroscience the team is reporting a breakthrough that lets opioids retain their pain-killing punch while dulling their addictive qualities.Read on...