Can Adding A Medication to Current Treatment Help People With Opioid Use Disorder?

Research Center: Medical University of South Carolina
Location: Roper Medical Office Building, Suite 190, 125 Doughty St. Charleston, SC 29403, United States
Lead Doctor: Kathleen Brady, M.D.,Ph.D; Constance Guille, M.D.
IRB Committee: This study has been reviewed and approved by the MUSC Institutional Review Board


Opioids are a class of drugs that aim to reduce the feeling of pain. Opioids can become addictive, even when prescribed or used for a short period of time. In 2017, opioid use was declared a nationwide Public Health Emergency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 30,000 deaths were caused by opioid overdose. 

Stress is inevitable and can contribute to developing and maintaining opioid addiction. This research study is investigating the effectiveness of adding the medication lofexidine to current opioid treatments to help decrease opioid cravings in response to stress. Lofexidine is currently FDA approved to treat opioid withdrawal. Researchers also hope to learn more about the relationship between stress and opioid craving. 

This research study is inviting adults aged 18 to 60 years old who are receiving medication for opioid use disorder and are seeking support. Participants must attend 23 study site visits over approximately 2 months, and they will also use an iPhone app to monitor medication compliance and daily stress. Participants who do not have an iPhone will be given a study phone to use. Participants can earn up to $724 for study visits, plus additional compensation for tasks completed through the app.

Why Participate? 

  • You may receive medication that may reduce opioid use.
  • You may experience a reduction in opioid cravings in response to stress.
  • You may help develop a more effective treatment for opioid use disorder.
  • You may be helping others who struggle with opioid use in the future.

Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the research study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you may withdraw at any time.
  • Your records relating to this study and any other information received will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by law.
  • Qualified health professionals will monitor your health as it relates to the research study.

Who Can Participate?

  • Adults aged 18 to 60 years old who are receiving medication for opioid use disorder and are seeking support.
  • Able to attend 23 study visits at the research site over approximately 2 months. 
    • Some of these visits may be done remotely with the use of smartphone, computers, or tablets.
  • Must be willing to complete daily tasks using an iPhone.

What’s Next?

  1. Click the link below to enter your contact details and answer some eligibility questions.
  2. The research centre will then contact you by phone to discuss the trial and answer your questions.
Click Here to Check Your Eligibility