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Young Adult Opiate Dependence

Agonist maintenance treatment continues to be the most common treatment for opiate dependence, and there is strong evidence that beneficial effects are mostly during the active substitution period, but not during the post-treatment period when relapse and risk of returning to previous patterns of drug use are high. Emerging adult opiate-dependent patients who are seeking treatment are relatively treatment naïve, have a shorter period of addiction and are more likely to choose buprenorphine over methadone. Our group is interested in discovering a combination treatment that can be developed into a short-term buprenorphine treatment as an alternative to long-term methadone agonist treatment. In addition, our group strives to identify neurological and physical markers of addiction among young adults using cutting-edge techniques including fMRI, eye-tracking and mobile technology.


  • Memantine-enhanced buprenorphine treatment for opioid dependent young adults. NIDA R01- G.Gonzalez, MD
  • Understanding Drug Craving and Control Among Opiate Dependent Patients: A Pilot Study Using fMRI. G. DiGirolamo, PhD, G. Gonzalez, MD
  • Gender, Social Learning and Adversity: Factors in Adolescent Development of Substance Use Disorders (FADS) L. Fortuna, MD