A Systematic Review on the Use of Psychosocial Interventions in Conjunction With Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Addiction

J Addict Med. Mar-Apr 2016;10(2):93-103. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000193.

Abstract

Opioid use and overdose rates have risen to epidemic levels in the United States during the past decade. Fortunately, there are effective medications (ie, methadone, buprenorphine, and oral and injectable naltrexone) available for the treatment of opioid addiction. Each of these medications is approved for use in conjunction with psychosocial treatment; however, there is a dearth of empirical research on the optimal psychosocial interventions to use with these medications. In this systematic review, we outline and discuss the findings of 3 prominent prior reviews and 27 recent publications of empirical studies on this topic. The most widely studied psychosocial interventions examined in conjunction with medications for opioid addiction were contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy, with the majority focusing on methadone treatment. The results generally support the efficacy of providing psychosocial interventions in combination with medications to treat opioid addictions, although the incremental utility varied across studies, outcomes, medications, and interventions. The review highlights significant gaps in the literature and provides areas for future research. Given the enormity of the current opioid problem in the United States, it is critical to gain a better understanding of the most effective ways to deliver psychosocial treatments in conjunction with these medications to improve the health and well-being of individuals suffering from opioid addiction.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Methadone / therapeutic use*
  • Naltrexone / therapeutic use*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / therapy*

Substances

  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone
  • Methadone