New ways to treat opiate abuse are being explored at the University of Vermont.
Stacey Sigmon of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health is leading the effort. In an article released Wednesday by a leading medical journal, she is calling for the use of new technology to help treat larger numbers of addicts.
Sigmon points to a few options, including a new locking device that dispenses medication daily from home, to help minimize abuse by patients. She says her team is also researching treatment plans that either inject or implant meds in a patient that are released over time, ranging from a few weeks to six months.
"That also not only reduces the burden for patients, they don't have to come to a clinic in a Vermont blizzard every day of the year when they live two hours away, the doctors don't have to have such a clinical burden as well, but also it more or less eliminates the concern of abuse and diversion of meds," Sigmon said.
Sigmon and her team are awaiting news this week about a possible grant that would infuse hundreds of thousands of dollars into their efforts. The money would allow researchers to explore additional methods of treatment that would include checking in with patients online and with an automated phone service.