By Nadia Kounang, CNN
"The intense craving is what drives the drug use," said Yasmin Hurd,
the lead researcher on the study and director of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai. "If we can have the medications that can dampen that [craving], that can greatly reduce the chance of relapse and overdose risk."
The available medications for opioid addiction, such as buprenorphine and methadone, act in a similar way, curbing cravings. But they are still not widely used. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, just one-third
of US patients with opioid dependence in private treatment centers actually receive these kinds of medications.
According to the 2016 surgeon general's report
on addiction, only 1 in 5 people who needed treatment for opioid use disorders was receiving any sort of therapy.