Opioid Use Disorder and Treatment

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a condition caused by a problematic pattern of opioid use that leads to a significant impairment or distress over a period of time for an individual. Symptoms of opioid use disorder include tolerance, craving, inability to control use, continued use despite adverse consequences and continued use despite interference with life obligations or social functioning.

Various OUD treatment options are available; most involve a team of professionals including social workers, doctors, nurse practitioners, psychologists, and other behavioral health clinicians. Treatment begins with a clinical assessment to determine which treatment method is best for the individual.

During treatment, medication can assist in preventing relapse while the brain is healing and regular emotional and decision-making capacities are being restored. For individuals with opioid-use disorder, medication assisted treatment (MAT) with agonists or partial agonists such as methadone or buprenorphine can be essential in helping to control symptoms of withdrawal and cravings. Findings associated with brain physiology and its relation to dependency has established the foundation for understanding addiction as a treatable disease and has influenced more precise and effective treatment interventions for the future.

The treatment system for opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders is comprised of multiple service components, including the following:

  • Individual and group counseling
  • Medication Assisted Treatment Programs (MAT)
  • Inpatient and Residential Treatment
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment
  • Partial Hospital Programs
  • Case or Care Management
  • Recovery Support Services
  • 12-Step Fellowship
  • Peer support Services