Serena Seyburn, BS, is a technician in the laboratory of T. Celeste Napier, PhD.
Relapse Prevention for Opiate Use Disorders
Opiate use disorders (OUD) have become a rising public health issue in the U.S. Elevated opioid abuse mortality rates have been previously addressed through the investigation of relapse prevention strategies. Relapse prevention has been explored through pharmacotherapies which target receptors activated by opioids.
The goal of this project is to identify safe and effective pharmacotherapies for opioids relapse prevention. This project focuses on serotonergic compounds. The Napier laboratory revealed that the atypical anti-depressant mirtazapine reduces a preferenc by rats for morphine-associated context cues. The current project is extending this work to determine if mirtazapine can reduce reactivity to discrete cues previously associated with heroin self-adminstration. It is predicted that mirtazapine will reduce heroin-seeking behaviors and relapse to heroin-taking in the drug withdrawn rat.