Study on treatment for prescription drug addiction

Armen Hareyan's picture

Prescription drug addiction

UCSF is launching a new study to evaluate treatments for addiction to prescription painkillers and has openings for patients to enroll.

This is the first large-scale study to assess whether addiction to opioid painkillers, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, can effectively be treated with drug treatments currently used for heroin addiction.


The study is part of a national effort involving 11 clinical research centers to evaluate such therapies. Known as the Prescription Opiate Addiction Treatment Study, or POATS, it is being led by the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network, under the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). UCSF is the only study site in Northern California.

The research is in response to the growing national problem of prescription drug abuse that has resulted in higher emergency room admissions and potentially devastating impacts on millions of Americans and their families, according to Stephen Dominy, MD, director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Addiction Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center, who is co-leading the UCSF portion of the study.