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UA researchers look to prevent opioid tolerance with help of a grant

Posted at 5:50 AM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 10:31:57-05

Researchers at the University of Arizona are joining in on the fight against opioid addiction by first tackling what causes tolerance and how it can be avoided. 

Researchers say for some it can take weeks, months or even years to develop a tolerance for opioids, however it completely depends on the person. 

"When you have sustained opiates, and these are people who have been taking opioids for weeks months and even years, what happens is the opioids begin to lose their efficacy meaning they don't relieve the pain very well over time," said Dr. Todd Vanderah, a researcher at the University of Arizona. 

Dr. Vanderah added some people develop what they call a "hypersensitivity" to opioids, which can cause them to feel pain and lead to taking more opioids, 

He added a lot of the times, patients will go to the doctor and get prescribed a higher dosage of the drug which can lead to addiction.