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Technical Proposal: Medically Assisted Vs Abstinence Based Treatment Of Opioid Dependance

1726 words - 7 pages

TO: Dr. Robinson
DATE: 23 February 2016
SUBJECT: Proposal to complete a technical report on abstinence-based treatment of opioid dependency versus medically-assisted treatment of opioid dependency.

The primary purpose of my proposal is to both investigate and evaluate the two major methods of treatment of opioid addiction. Over the next few weeks, I will interview a variety of staff members from Palmetto Recovery Center in Rayville, Louisiana and from the Center for Behavioral Health in Shreveport, Louisiana, as well as at least one former patient of each facility. I will combine these perspectives with additional research I will obtain from sources such as medical ...view middle of the document...

I have seen this epidemic grow rampantly in the Shreveport area over the past few years, so have chosen to restrict the focus of my proposal to researching the pros and cons of both methods of treatment. I believe that almost every one of us faces addiction or alcoholism at one point or another, either from first-hand experience or from the experience of a friend, family member, or co-worker, and that awareness of what this addiction is and what we can do about it is absolutely vital in combating this epidemic.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine categorizes addiction as a “primary, chronic disease of the brain and, although some opioid addicts attempt to overcome their problems on their own, the reality is that diseases usually require medical intervention” (Redpath). In that respect, drug addiction is no different. The disease of addiction is a self-destructive one and, if left untreated, drug dependency can pave the way to further self-destructive behavior. Opioid use is linked to “increased likelihood of turning to other crime and can cause problems within relationships, lead to violence, and create further mental health issues” (CAP Quality Care). For opioid users, the journey to recovery is further hindered by the two main available treatment methods being in conflict with each other. Inevitably, of course, both methods purport to offer the best chance of a successful recovery, yet one of those methods has received widespread criticism, and some have even argued is not actually treatment for addiction at all. This is why it is of great importance to educate ourselves and others on the pros, cons, risks, and benefits of both kinds of treatment methods of opioid addiction. When making the decision to end the addiction to opioids like heroin, OxyContin, Vicodin, and other prescription pain-relievers, the individual must consider a variety of options and select the one best suited for him or her. Currently, the “two main treatment options are: 1) Maintenance of the addiction through methadone or other prescription drugs such as buprenorphine, and 2) Abstinence treatment which entails quitting opioids cold turkey” (CAP Quality Care). Those who are in agreement with methadone maintenance, such as Dr. Bohdan Nosyk – an associate professor of health economics in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, report that “contrary to wishful thinking and what most people who have not read the scientific research believe, abstinence treatment, or ‘detox,’ is often ineffective” and that abstinence treatment “too often results in overdose and death” (CAP Quality Care). Though widely disputed and publically criticized, there is a vast amount of research to support the idea that methadone maintenance is, in fact, an effective method of treatment for opioid addiction. In fact, according to data from the research of Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, a clinical trial created for the...

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