Holy Grail: Pain Pills Without the High

March 18, 2015 11:54 AM

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Holy Grail: Pain Pills Without the High

Last year, scientists enlisted 40 recreational drug users to test one of the hottest questions in pharmaceutical research: Is it possible to develop a strong painkiller that doesn’t make people high?

The participants, who acknowledged a history of illicit drug use, received three different injections—an experimental painkiller from Cara Therapeutics Inc., an older painkiller and saline. After each, the researchers checked participants’ vitals and asked a series of questions: How high do you feel...

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