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Friday, September 25, 2015

The Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use

America's opioid crisis has resulted in an exponential increase in those who require substance use disorder treatment. This means the need for effective, evidence based treatment modalities has never been greater. In recent years, with recommendations from a number of health agencies, many treatment programs have adopted medication assisted treatment (MAT) approaches when treating opioid addiction. The use of medications, along with in psychosocial therapies, has shown the most promise.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) officially released its National Practice Guidelines for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use and related products, ScienceDaily reports. The new guidelines should aid treatment programs in providing more effective therapies.

"Suboptimal treatment has likely contributed to expansion of the epidemic as well as concerns for unethical practices," writes Drs. Kyle Kampman of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Margaret Jarvis of Marworth Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Treatment Center.

"At the same time, access to competent treatment is profoundly restricted because few physicians are willing and able to provide it." The skill and time needed for effective use of medications for opioid use disorders "are not generally available to primary care doctors."

The guidelines include:
  • Alter Prescribing Patterns for Pain Medication
  • Expand Access to Naloxone
  • Expand and Standardizing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
"This Practice Guideline was developed to assist in the evaluation and treatment of opioid use, and in the hope that, using this tool, more physicians will be able to provide effective treatment," writes Kampman and Jarvis.

The new evidence-based recommendations are published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

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