Residential treatment may be an appropriate first-line option for young adults who are dependent on opioid drugs — including prescription painkillers and heroin — and may result in higher levels of abstinence than does the outpatient treatment that is currently the standard of care.

A study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Addiction Services found that a month-long, 12-step-based residential program with strong linkage to community-based follow-up care, enabled almost 30% of opioid-dependent participants to remain abstinent a year later. Another recent study found that 83% of those who entered an office-based opioid treatment program had dropped out a year later.

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