Researcher exploring new methods in treating addiction

Dec 28, 2015

A UB researcher is reporting some success in helping people who want to quit abuse of prescription drugs by increasing their motivation.

UB's Yu-Ping Chang is exploring ways of treating drug addiction.
Credit courtesy of UB

Assistant Nursing Professor Yu-Ping Chang says it's an attempt to deal with older people with drug problems, especially opioids and potentially heroin. She says many were prescribed strong drugs to deal with chronic pain and slipped into addiction.

Chang says a major research area is baby boomers who want to be better.
"They think things from different perspectives and they are more willing to listen to different opinions," Chang explained.

"They do not have something to really to focus on, they focus on themselves."

Chang says her research worked with people over 50 with chronic pain who were rated at risk for opioid misuse. There are a variety of screen tools to look for underlying problems like depression, but they received an in-person meeting with assistance and then weekly phone sessions with counselors over a month.

Chang says some people quit and also reported declines in problems. Other UB researchers are looking at an array of data to better understand people with addictions, even if where they live helps or hurts.