Opioid Detox Research

Prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (Percocet, Oxycontin), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), codeine, and morphine along with the illegal street drug heroin comprise a group of drugs called opioids. Repetitive use of these and other opioids can produce physical dependence on them, and thus, withdrawal if a person stops taking them suddenly. Despite current treatments that are available to date, opioid dependence is a chronic, often relapsing, disorder with medical, social, and legal complications and opioid withdrawal is implicated in relapse to opioid use.

Currently the investigators at the UAMS Center for Addiction Research are conducting a project that attempts to address the need for improved prescription opioid detoxification strategies by assessing the tolerability and preliminary efficacy of the calcium channel blocker isradipine during buprenorphine detoxification in opioid−dependent participants. This eight-week randomized, placebo−controlled pilot clinical trial will determine the potential utility of isradipine to improve treatment outcomes in opioid−dependent individuals undergoing an outpatient buprenorphine detoxification procedure. Currently, the only FDA−approved medications for opioid withdrawal are the opioid agonists methadone and buprenorphine.

For more information about this study, contact the research staff at (501) 526-7969.

This research project will be conducted in the Center for Addiction Research (CAR) at the Psychiatric Research Institute (PRI), a six-story, state-of-the-art facility that incorporates inpatient and outpatient facilities, including 40 medically intensive inpatient beds, research, clinical, brain imaging, educational and administrative space. It is connected to the main hospital at which emergency care can also be received. CAR has a dedicated multidisciplinary research team comprised of physicians with expertise in addiction treatment, nurses, research assistants, drug counselors, and senior investigators that have successfully conducted prior medication trials in opioid dependent individuals. All studies hold a Certificate of Confidentiality from a federal agency that provides an extra layer of protection for participant’s confidentiality.

All participants will be initially screened to determine their study eligibility on the fourth floor of PRI. Eligible participants will visit the outpatient research clinic on the fourth floor, where there are two exam rooms, several interview rooms, bathrooms for supervising urine collections, laboratory for processing and packaging urine and blood samples as well as storage of blood samples, several laboratories for clinical research, exam rooms, private interview rooms, a methadone clinic, private therapist offices, a computer laboratory, individualized computer therapy rooms, conference rooms, and office space. Intake, training sessions, assessment sessions, and therapy sessions will be conducted in the those spaces.