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Advances in Clinical Research for Prescription Opioid Dependence.

Presented at the National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter Symposium, Framingham, MA, March 29-30, 2012.

Scott E. Provost, MSW, MM (McLean Hospital, NEC Node), Jennifer Sharpe Potter, PhD, MPH (McLean Hospital, NEC Node), Roger D. Weiss, MD (McLean Hospital, NEC Node).

This presentation begins with an overall examination of the prevalence of prescription opioid dependence and its societal/public health consequences. In 2010, 5.1 million people over 12 years of age used prescription opioids non-medically within the previous month (1.7% of the population). Almost half of those people were new users, the second largest number of past year initiates of any drug (second only to marijuana by about 400,000 people). The presentation then goes on to describe the design, methodology, and outcomes of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) protocol CTN-0030, "Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study (POATS)." This study's main objective was to determine whether the addition of individual drug counseling to the prescription of buprenorphine/naloxone and standard medical management (SMM) improves outcome. After the study's completion, researchers found that prescription opioid-dependent patients are most likely to reduce opioid use during buprenorphine/naloxone treatment. However, tapering from buprenorphine/naloxone, whether initially or after a period of substantial improvement, led to nearly universal relapse, even in patients receiving counseling in addition to standard medical management. Implications for social workers are presented, along with suggested resources for more information. (Presentation, PDF, English, 2012)

Keywords: Buprenorphine | Buprenorphine/Naloxone | CTN primary outcomes | Heroin | Opioid dependence | Opioid detoxification | Pharmacological therapy | Prescription-type opiates | Suboxone | Taper schedules | National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter Symposium, 2012

Document No: 802.

Submitted by Scott Provost, MSW, MM (4/5/2012)

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