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Significant Progress in Scopolamine Detoxification Technique for Heroin Dependence By SHUTCM Researchers


Recently,a breakthrough has been achieved in heroin dependence by the team of Prof. Shen Xueyong from the School of Acupuncture and Tuina in collaboration with researchers from the Ningbo Drug Rehabilitation Center.

It’s known to all that heroin dependence greatly affects human health and disturbspublic health and society. It’s now generally believed that heroin dependence is a chronic paroxysmal brain disorders characterized by severe withdrawal symptoms and relapses. Relapse, the most challenge in treatment is closely associated with the psychological crave for heroin. Traditional detoxification method mainly deals with symptoms; however they failed to manage the psychological symptoms.In addition, conventional detoxification drug such as methadone is long-actingopioid receptor agonist and severely limited to clinical use because the drug itself may produce dependence.

Worked in collaboration withthe Ningbo Drug Rehabilitation Center, Prof. Shen Xueyong and his team made significant progress in this regard. According to associate professor Liu Sheng(the first author of the article), this study adopted arandomized trial using comprehensive therapy including non-addiction drugs such as scopolamine. There sults have suggested that this therapy can significantly alleviate patients’ withdrawal symptoms as well as psychological symptoms, especially the psychological crave for heroin. The findings of this study were published inthe CNS Drugs (IF: 4.862). Prof. KatePalmer, the editor-in-chief of CNN Drugscommented, ‘compared with conventional detoxification method, this distinctiveand innovative technique may provide new options for drug dependence’.

This study was funded by the National Science & Technology Program for the 11th 5-year plan,National Natural Science Foundation and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.