A heroin drug user prepares a syringe at a park in Medan city in Sumatra.
Credit: AFP

An international team of scientists from the University of Adelaide and the University of Colorado Boulder discovered a new way to treat drug addiction.

It's called (+)-naloxone.

A University of Adelaide press release said yesterday that researchers had "proven that addiction to morphine and heroin can be blocked, while at the same time increasing pain relief."

“Our studies have shown conclusively that we can block addiction via the immune system of the brain, without targeting the brain’s wiring,” said author Dr. Mark Hutchinson, ARC Research Fellow in the University of Adelaide’s School of Medical Sciences.

"Our studies have shown we only need to block the immune response in the brain to prevent cravings for opioid drugs.”

The study was published yesterday in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The North County Times reported a similar study by Scripps Research Institute that was published on Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine.

Rats that were given a combination of two drugs, buprenorphine and naltrexone, consumed less cocaine and showed reduced "signs of withdrawal," which includes diarrhea and spasms. This suggests the cocktail may be a "viable pharmacological approach for the treatment of cocaine addiction," researchers said

Watch this video to hear Dr. Mark Hutchinson explain what he calls a paradigm shift in how we treat drug addiction: 

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