Conflicting Research On Opioid Use From Purdue

Nov 9, 2018

Purdue professor Laura Schwab-Reese interviews with WBAA on opioid use and depression.
Credit Rebecca Wilcox / Purdue University

Different research groups from Purdue University are recommending contrasting action plans regarding opioid use. With one study attempting to treat opioid addiction, and another battles both alcohol abuse and depression.

Purdue professors Richard van Rijn from the department of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology and Laura Schwab-Reese and her team in health and kinesiology, who notes that depression affects nearly one in twelve Americans over 18 this year in her team’s report.

Schwab-Reese says the connection between opioid abuse is ironically tied to the reason they are prescribed. She says, "it’s a bit of a cyclical relationship where if you have depression you’re more likely to get opioids and then if you are using opioids you are more likely to be depressed."

On the other hand, van Rijn’s team is developing technology that hopes to reduce both alcohol abuse and depression via the use of an opioid. Although the team hopes to avoid the side-effects of prescription opioids currently given out by physicians. 

A Purdue article regarding van Rijn’s team says that their drug would reduce risk of seizures, due to its dual ability to combat depression and alcohol abuse, but Schwab-Reese says, to her knowledge, there is no correlation between these two symptoms.