CHA News Article

Promising Treatment for Opioid Addiction Includes Medication, Ongoing ED Care

New research from the National Institute for Drug Abuse adds to the growing body of literature suggesting that opioid-dependent patients may benefit from medication while waiting for more comprehensive substance use disorder treatment. The research, published in an article in JAMA, compared treatment approaches for opioid-dependent patients in emergency departments (EDs) and found that combining medication with ongoing care is more effective than simply providing referrals to addiction treatment. In the study, patients who received the medication buprenorphine for up to 12 weeks, along with a brief intervention to discuss opioid use, were more likely to get follow-up addiction treatment. They were also less likely to need inpatient addiction treatment services, saving treatment costs.