Prescription pain medication is fast becoming one of the most widely abused drugs in America. These narcotic medicines when prescribed and used under a doctor's care offer patients relief from chronic and often debilitating pain. When used outside the proper guidelines these medicines can create a life altering addiction. Putting an end to the addiction and the abuse is the goal of research that is being conducted at Tulane University in New Orleans. 

Dr. James Zadina is leading a group of researchers at Tulane and the Southeast Louisiana Veteran's Healthcare System in trials and tests of a new painkiller. This painkiller is supposed to be as effective as the highly addictive drug morphine. So far the results of the testing on animals has been promising.

An animal will return to a chamber where it received morphine, spend more time where it received morphine but that doesn’t happen with these new compounds, indicating that they don’t walk to the place where they got it, indicate that way that they liked it.

Zadina's remarks were reported by the Louisiana Radio Network and he went on to say that clinical trials on human subject could begin in the next few years.

So we have a number of steps we have to take that are FDA required, a detailed plan of how it would be tested in humans and what doses you’d use and so forth. All of those things have to happen ahead of clinical trials but that’s our next focus.

Zadina explained that the way the new drug works is quite different from the way morphine works in the body. With morphine it's the chemical compounds in the opium that create the endomorphin drug. The new compound his team is researching stimulates the patients brain to create those chemical compounds to block the pain.

It is hoped through this research that Zadina and his team could create a pain medicine that offered patients relief from their discomfort without creating a potential for addiction or overdose.