James Zadina, a researcher at the Tulane School of Medicine, is working on creating a pain killer that will reduce pain, but at the same time–not get patients addicted to it.

In August of 2015, Zadina and his team published a study in Neuropharmacology where he reported that they treated pain in rats without causing the five most common side effects associated with opiods. The rats did not experience increased tolerance, motor impairment, or respiratory depression. This is significant because these listed side effects lead to the largest amount of opiod-related deaths.

The next task is to test this groundbreaking new painkiller on humans. The research is still underway, but if effective, could drastically change the lives of a society affected by this crisis.