Opioid treatment and addiction
In this project we study different aspects of opioid treatment spanning from the cellular level to living humans. Opioids are potent and efficient analgesic substances, but the tolerance development, as well as inadequate prescription regimes, can lead to iatrogenic (caused by the medical profession) opioid use syndrome. We examine how opioids are prescribed in Sweden, which factors lead to over-prescription, how the problem of iatrogenic opioid dependence/addiction can be prevented and how to optimize assessment and follow-ups of patients on long-term opioid treatment. Part of this project consists of validating the Swedish version of a questionnaire for the assessment of the risk for opioid dependence/addiction in individual patients on opioid therapy (Current Opioid Misuse Measure, COMM). In collaboration with researchers specialized in addiction pharmacology in Beijer’s laboratory we also study the neurotoxic effects of opioids on a cellular level in vitro. In longitudinal studies, neuro-immunological biomarkers as well as cognitive changes are assessed in patients during the rotation from rapidly acting opioids to opioid substitution therapy.
Contact person: Lenka Katila