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Reregulation of cortisol levels and sleep in patients with prescription opioid use disorder during long-term residential treatment

Published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Reregulation of cortisol levels and sleep in patients with prescription opioid use disorder during long-term residential treatment

Caron Treatment Centers’ Senior Director of Research at Caron, Dr. Erin Deneke, recently collaborated with Penn State College of Medicine on a study examining the reregulation of sleep in patients with opioid use disorder.

The study assessed prescription opioid dependent (OUD) patients in inpatient treatment, who had elevated basal cortisol and reduced total sleep time versus healthy controls. Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone, which controls several functions including the sleep/wake cycle.

Researchers found that patients whose sleep and cortisol remained disrupted for 9-10 weeks were more likely to relapse. They also observed that those who achieved reregulation of sleep and cortisol were drug free 120 days after discharging from treatment. Therefore, re-regulation of sleep and cortisol levels while in residential treatment was associated with better treatment outcome following discharge for prescription OUD patients.

To read the abstract for the study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 227, October 2021, 108931 for this study, please click here.

To review other research initiatives and studies that Caron leads or participates in, please see visit The Fran & Doug Tieman Center for Research.

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