The medications used to treat addictions are powerful drugs. They are not one-size-fits-all cures for every opioid use disorder and their potential for misuse if not managed carefully is serious. That’s why competent treatment professionals conduct thorough screenings before ever dispensing medications. Physicians need to assess the severity of the patient’s disorder and any underlying co-occurring conditions to find the most appropriate course of action.
A complete patient history will identify the physical and psychological effects of opioid abuse on the user. Probing drug use history, past treatment outcomes, and family and psychosocial supports provides further useful detail. Finally, a toxicology screening helps determine the patient’s readiness for medication treatment.
With all the preliminary work completed, a comprehensive wellness plan is presented. It will include a therapy schedule and drug treatment regimen. After educating the patient on the risks and benefits of the new prescribed medication, drug therapy can begin.