Skip to Main Content

HelixTalk #170 - Hope and Healing: Overcoming Opioid Use Disorder Through Evidence-Based Therapies

Date posted: August 29, 2023, 6:00 am

In this episode, together with our faculty colleague, Dr. Roberta Dume, PharmD, BCPP, we discuss the pharmacologic options and evidence for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) and how pharmacists play a vital role in assisting patients suffering from opioid use disorder.


Key Concepts

  1. The treatment for OUD should be provided by either the treating clinician or a certified Opioid Treatment Provider (OTP) using one of three FDA-approved therapies which include buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone.
  2. Selection of the OUD treatment depends on availability of treatment provider; pharmacologic agent specific factors such as efficacy, dose titration, safety, and need for detoxification; and patient factors such as ability to safe-keep medications, adherence to  required clinic visits, or presence of comorbidities. 
  3. Pharmacists can play an important role for patients needing OUD by providing treatment education, treatment induction, monitoring treatment outcomes, harm reduction by providing naloxone and related education, and utilizing preventative strategies such as monitoring opioid use, offering non-opioid pain management options, and promoting safe storage and disposal of opioids.