A single 30-minute session with a trained therapist during an emergency room visit can motivate people who misused prescription opioid painkillers to reduce their use, a new study concludes.
In the six months after their ER visit, patients were less likely to misuse opioid drugs, UPI reports. They also reduced risky behavior that could lead to an opioid overdose. In contrast, a group of similar patients who did not receive counseling did not have as much of a drop in opioid misuse and risky behavior.
The therapists conducting the counseling sessions used a technique called motivational interviewing, which helps people understand the risks they face from drug use. They learn about the factors that can increase that risk, such as drinking alcohol or taking other drugs such as benzodiazepines while they are taking painkillers. The technique is designed to help people increase their desire and commitment to change their behavior.