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UVA CLEAR providing harm reduction to those suffering with addiction

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:03 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A clinic at the University of Virginia is helping people struggling with addiction, as well as conducting research to understand and combat this issue.

“Addiction does not discriminate,” Center for Leading Edge Addiction Research Director Doctor Nassima Tiouririne said. “Sixty-percent of it is actually biological.”

The center’s research is designed to understand biological and environmental predisposition.

“If you were born into an environment where there was a lot of addiction you’re more likely to use,” Dr. Tiouririne said. “New research that we’re starting soon that I’m excited about is a trial of Oxytocin for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.”

She says Oxytocin is known as the bonding hormone. CLEAR hopes it may block the desire to drink.

“A lot of these drugs effect the rewards system: It makes you feel good, it makes you relax, it makes you function,” Tiouririne said.

She says CLEAR is working to begin a needle exchange - where dirty needles can be exchanged for clean ones - which helps prevents the spread of blood-borne diseases.

If you are prescribed opioids and want information about how to take them and avoid addiction, call 1-877-OPIOIDS for Charlottesville-based help.

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