Opium is illegal, heroin is illegal, we all know that. But scientists are developing a drug than can combine the characteristics of both drugs, and it would be used in treating anxiety disorders and major depression.
This new drug is known as ALKS 5461 and can offer both the anxiety-lowering and mood-enhancing effects that people look for when they begin to use opiates like Oxycontin and heroin, and it doesn’t create addiction. This means that ALKS 5461 is a non-addictive, non-abusable heroin-like compound.
ALKS 5461 is created from two molecules: buprenorphine and ALKS 33. Buprenorphine is a molecule that is already used in drugs, as it has many of the opiates’ benefits and fewer side effects. ALKS 33 is the most important from the two molecules as it stops the binding of buprenorphine to the receptors, responsible for making people feel euphoric and crave opiates like smokers crave nicotine.
Scientists made a placebo study on several patients, meaning that they didn’t know if they were getting ALKS 5461 or just a sugar pill. The experiment showed that after 7 days thepatients with major depression, who received ALKS 5461, showed significant improvement in relieving symptoms. It is worth mentioning that all of them failed to respond to traditional antidepressants such as Effexor or Prozac.
This means that ALKS 5461 could be a major breakthrough in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder and major depression. Of course the treatment with ALKS 5461 for major depression will only be efficient together with the use insight-oriented psychotherapy.