Scientists in North Carolina studying nonaddictive pain reliever

NORTH CAROLINA – It could be a big breakthrough in the fight against the opioid crisis.

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina say they have developed a nonaddictive painkiller. The drug AT-121, which provides morphine-like effects, targets brain receptors for pain relief and addiction. 

Scientists hope the drug can eventually be used to treat chronic pain and opioid dependence.

Researchers say they will collect more information on its safety, but early animal trials have had positive results. If things go well, they'll reach out to the Food and Drug Administration for approval to begin clinical trials.