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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Primarycare, Family Medicine/Addiction Medicine

Advisor

Dr. Thomas Colletti, DHSc, PA-C

Abstract

Opioid addiction has become an epidemic in the contemporary society, where it affects the young people aged 18-25 years more than any other age group. Most of the persons with addiction fall into dependence after abusing prescribed drugs. The treatment of this type of addiction is controversial since there is no single intervention that has been shown to be effective than the rest. In most cases, healthcare providers use medication-assisted treatment (MAT) or psychosocial interventions. Each of these methods addresses a different set of symptoms. The MAT relieves withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings among the addicts, while the psychosocial approaches (such as the cognitive behavioral therapy) aimed at eliciting changes in patient’s drug use behaviors and other factors such as cognition and emotion using the interaction between therapist and patient. However, psychosocial approaches are more effective than the pharmacotherapy in enhancing the cognitive functioning and the psychological wellness, which prepares the addicts to get back to their normal life faster compared to when medications are used. However, healthcare provider can maximize the patient outcomes by combining the treatment options, including MAT and psychosocial interventions.

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