In an effort to improve practitioner competence in the management of opioid use disorders, a committee of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has developed a new evidence Practice Guideline on the use of medications to combat addiction. The Guideline is published in the current issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine. Authors Kyle Kampman, MD, FASAM, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, and Margaret Jarvis, MD, of Marworth Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Treatment Center, Waverly, Pennsylvania, state that the Practice Guideline was developed to assist in the evaluation and treatment of opioid use disorder, expertise in which is “…profoundly restricted because few physicians are willing and able to provide it."
Kampman and Jarvis further note that “Although there are existing guidelines for the treatment of opioid use disorder, none have included all of the medications used at present for its treatment. Moreover, few of the existing guidelines address the needs of special populations such as pregnant women, individuals with co-occurring psychiatric disorders, individuals with pain, adolescents, or individuals involved in the criminal justice system.” The National Practice Guideline provides specific recommendations for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, including the management of opioid withdrawal. It focuses on specific, evidence-based guidance on the major medications used in treating opioid use disorders.
Read more about the recommendations here.
The journal article summarizing the ASAM Practice Guideline may be read here.