Why are doctors underusing a drug to treat opioid addiction?

A drug approved for private physicians to treat opioid addiction is being underprescribed, and a survey of addiction specialists suggests that many of them are not willing to increase their use of it, despite an expanding opioid addiction epidemic in the United States, according to research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Two opioid replacement medications are currently approved for opioid use disorder: methadone, which under federal law must be dispensed from authorized clinics, and buprenorphine, which can be used to treat opioid addiction in the privacy of a physician’s office, so long as the physician has the proper waivers.

Full story at Science Daily

‘Alarmingly high’ risk of death for people with opioid use disorder in general medical care

Almost one-fifth of patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) in a large healthcare system died during a four-year follow-up period, reports a study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

The results suggest very high rates of serious illness and death among patients with OUD in general medical care settings — much higher than for those in addiction specialty clinics, according to by Yih-Ing Hser, PhD, of University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues. They write, “The alarmingly high morbidity and mortality among OUD patients revealed in the present study challenge healthcare systems to find new and innovative ways to expand evidence-based strategies for OUD in a variety of settings.”

Full story of death risk for opioid users in general medical care at Science Daily

Quantum Units Education: New CEU Courses

Caring for Homeless Patients with Opioid Use Disorders: Clinical Guidelines

Numerous factors associated with homelessness may increase the risk of developing severe opioid use disorders and make treatment more difficult.  This CE course discusses optimal care for people with opioid use disorders who are homeless or marginally housed, addressing clinical and programmatic issues.

The Effects of Child Maltreatment on Brain Development

This CEU course provides information on typical brain development and the potential effects of abuse and neglect on that development.  The information in this course is designed to help professionals understand the emotional, mental, and behavioral impact of early abuse and neglect in children who come to the attention of the child welfare system.

Evidence-Based Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have lifelong effects on individual functioning in areas such as learning, relationships, and independence in daily life.  This CE course provides information and tools to support healthcare professionals in making informed decisions about selection, implementation, and monitoring of ASD interventions.

For more on these new course and many more, visit Quantum Units Education

Quantum Units Education: New CEU Courses

New! Ethics for Social Workers

Social workers and other behavioral health professionals are expected to protect the well-being of their clients and adhere to the values, ethical principles, and standards of the profession. The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of issues that social workers may face in the areas of competence, social diversity, informed consent, conflicts of interest, privacy and confidentiality, as well as other concerns. Ethical responsibilities to clients, society, and the profession are discussed along with the evolution of ethical standards in the profession. Finally, several clinical vignettes are presented that offer practical examples of dilemmas that social workers may face, as well as possible strategies to manage such conflicts.

New! Treatment for Cutting and Other Nonsuicidal Self-Injury Behaviors

This CE course examines: the behaviors that are considered nonsuicidal self-injury; the populations that self-injury is most commonly seen in and the reasons for such behaviors; the link between self-injury and suicide; and how to measure, assess, and treat nonsuicidal self-injury behaviors.

New! Addressing Family Homelessness

This CE course provides clinicians, and other professionals working with the homeless, knowledge on the following topics: the current trends in family homelessness; the conventional responses to shelter shortages; an alternative model to a shortage of resources for homeless families; program strategies to overcome housing attainment barriers; and practices of family-friendly services.

New! Clinical Use of Extended-Release Injectable Naltrexone in Treating Opioid Use Disorder

This CE course provides a review of current evidence on the effectiveness of available medications for the treatment of an opioid use disorder and guidance for clinical practice.  Topics covered: assessing the need for treatment; initiating medication-assisted treatment; monitoring patient progress and adjusting the treatment plan; and deciding whether and when to end medication-assisted treatment.

New! Clinical Leadership in Health Care for the Homeless

This CE course explores several aspects of clinical leadership in the practice setting, such as balancing clinical and administrative responsibilities, building internal and external relationships, delivering quality care, and directors’ need for training in practice management and leadership skills.

New! Engaging Families in Case Planning

This CE course provides child welfare professionals with knowledge on: engaging families in case planning; caseworker strategies that support family engagement in case planning; agency strategies that support family engagement in case planning; findings in the Child and Family Services Reviews; and state and local examples.

For more information on these new courses and many more, visit Quantum Units Education