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Monday, January 7, 2013

New Study Could Change Opiate Addiction Treatment

Opiate addiction is extremely challenging to recover from for a number of reasons; although, there are many tools available today to help with the process. There happen to be several modes of thinking by addiction specialists when it comes to a successful recovery, but according to a new study, how opioid dependence is viewed and treated could change.

Buprenorphine is commonly prescribed for treating opioid dependence and has been proven to be quite successful. People who are dependent on opioids and are being treated with buprenorphine do not receive additional benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, the new study found. Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to treat many psychiatric conditions and substance use disorders.

The researchers from Yale University studied 141 people with opioid dependence. They were divided into two groups. One group received buprenorphine treatment alone, and the second group received the drug treatment plus cognitive behavioral therapy.

Patients in both groups had a significant reduction in self-reported frequency of opioid use. Those receiving cognitive behavioral therapy did not have a greater reduction in use than those receiving buprenorphine treatment alone.

“This study demonstrates that some patients can do very well with buprenorphine and minimal physician support,” lead author Dr. David A. Fiellin noted in a news release. “This treatment represents an important tool to help reduce the adverse impact of addiction, HIV, and overdose due to heroin and prescription opioids.”

The findings appear in the American Journal of Medicine.
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