What Is AT-121?

What is AT-121 and How Will It Affect the Opioid Crisis?

With the overwhelming prescription and distribution of painkillers throughout the country, the opioid crisis is reaching an all time high. This vicious cycle of curving pain with opioids (both synthetic and natural), which creates a real possibility of patient addiction, is a major problem in the United States. And seems to only be getting worse.

However, a new chemical compound is beginning to be developed that could potentially be a help in this desperate time. The chemical is AT-121, and it may be the light in the dark for individuals experiencing chronic pain with no way out or ability to manage their symptoms. 

What is AT-121? 

AT-121 is a chemical developed specifically to curb the use of opioids for pain management. The chemical was developed to act upon two main receptors in the brain: the receptor that controls pain and the receptor that regulates various addictions and various other behaviors. The hope of its developers is that it could even replace opioid use, as AT-121 can stop pain while not having the addictive effects from morphine and similar medicines. 

“In our study, we found AT-121 to be safe and non-addictive, as well as an effective pain medication,” said Mei-Chuan Ko, Ph.D., professor of physiology and pharmacology at the School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

“In addition, this compound also was effective at blocking abuse potential of prescription opioids, much like buprenorphine does for heroin, so we hope it could be used to treat pain and opioid abuse.”

Will it Affect the Opioid Crisis? 

With a potential of this new medication to be an effective, non-addictive, and low risk of overdose, the opioid crisis will be majorly impacted. The current rate of addiction and overdose that originated in prescribed medications is high. As well, people often move from painkillers to heroin. Hopefully, replacing the initial addictive substances with something that is not addictive will effectively cut the head off the snake and begin to change the damage done addictive prescription medications.

While the drug is still in testing, it is hard to not be excited for such possibilities. The opioid crisis has plagued the world for many years, and has continued to get worse of the last few years. The medical field may be turning a corner with this new painkiller.

Will opioid addiction go away? Probably not. But to offer people in pain an alternative is a huge step forward. It is another piece of the puzzle in the important work of helping individuals find recovery before it is too late.

Addiction Treatment in San Diego, California

If you or someone you love is already addicted to pain medication (or any other substance), the firs step to healing is to reach out for help. Substance use disorders are nearly impossible to manage without help. And Pure Life is here to give you information, answer questions, even offer treatment if it seems necessary. Call one of our addiction specialists today for a free assessment: 949-344-2863.

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