New Guidelines on Treating Opioid Abuse With Medications

the Psychiatry Advisor take:

The American Society of Addiction Medicine has come out with new guidelines on the use of prescription medication in the treatment of opioid-use disorders.

The evidence-based recommendation were developed by the society’s guidelines committee, consisting of specialist in addiction medicine and related fields.  The guideline provides specific recommendations for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, including the management of opioid withdrawal, and focuses on the major medications used in treating opioid use disorders.

Medication options include the opioid agonist methadone, the opioid partial agonist buprenorphine, and the opioid antagonist naltrexone. The documents includes recommendations for appropriate use of these medications through each phase of treatment.

The guidelines also recommend that first responders, including emergency medical services, police officers and firefighters be trained to use the fast-acting opioid blocker naloxone, which can reverse opioid overdose.

The guidelines come amid the growing problem of the misuse of opioid drugs in recent years. The situation has become so bad, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called the situation an “opioid epidemic.”

Prescription Opioid Abuse Showing Signs of Decline
The guidelines also recommend that first responders be trained to use the fast-acting opioid blocker naloxone.

Medications play an important role in managing patients with opioid-use disorders, but there are not enough physicians with the knowledge and ability to use these often-complex treatments. New evidence-based recommendations on the use of prescription medications for the treatment of opioid addiction are published in the October/November issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

The National Practice Guideline provides specific recommendations for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, including the management of opioid withdrawal. It focuses on specific, evidence-based guidance on the major medications used in treating opioid use disorders.


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