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The Importance Of Addiction Research

If you follow our blogs, then you’re well aware of the research stories that we regularly publish. Progress in this field is absolutely fascinating and can make a real difference in the way we view recovery treatments. Well, of course, those studies need to have a starting point and it is worth calling out all of the brave participants who help make these findings possible.

The Scientific American blog recently published a story on the “unsung heroes” who partake in these studies. Often times they are battling a substance abuse issue themselves, yet courageously allow researchers to study their behaviors and delve into their psyche.

The article also makes a point to call out the latest shortage of participants for addiction research. As writer Nora Volkow points out, this field has an especially hard time attracting subjects.

“People with substance use disorders already face stigma and the fear of further social or legal consequences of their addiction, and this deters potential volunteers from signing up to participate in research,” Volkow writes. “Some distrust the medical profession altogether. Many people with addiction do not want or believe they need treatment at all.”

There is also the fact that many addicted Americans are living off the grid and unaware of these opportunities. The opioid crisis, for example, has led to a sharp increase in homelessness. And even something as simple as proper transportation can hinder someone from getting involved.

But the truth of the matter is, these research studies can yield a large amount of benefits (particularly for those in low income situations). For one thing, they typically involve top specialists and give participants free access to new treatment methods. Everyone who signs up is also compensated, so it is a legitimate way to earn income. And let’s not forget about the “Good Samaritan” scenario, where you have the knowledge that you are actually making a difference and helping others.

Volkow ends her piece with a strong call-to-action, urging more participation in this research. She even concludes with a call-to-action link.

“An ‘all hands on deck’ approach is needed to confronting America’s current drug crisis, and the needed hands must include families and individuals directly affected by substance use disorders,” she added. “By increasing participation in research by those who most stand to benefit, we can find solutions to the complex addiction issues facing our nation today. It is also an opportunity for individuals suffering from addiction to participate in clinical research, just as people with other medical conditions do.”