Distinguishing between causes of opioid use disorder to personalize treatment

Sarah Anwar, MDLinx

American Psychiatric Association 2018 Annual Meeting

New York, New York, United States | May 05-09, 2018


New York, NY, May 7, 2018—Identifying the cause of addiction in patients suffering from substance use disorders will help psychiatrists personalize treatment and tailor it to better fit patients, and thus achieve optimal results, according to Nora D. Volkow, MD, director, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, here at the American Psychiatric Association 2018 Annual Meeting.

“It is important to understand how the opioid use disorder emerges, because they will require that you tailor your treatment accordingly,” said Dr. Volkow.

For example, in patients with chronic pain who have developed an addiction due to their pain, psychiatrists must manage both the pain and the addiction. In depressed patients, who become addicted, both depression and addiction.

“If you don’t manage the depression, it will be very difficult for that patient to achieve recovery and to basically forgo the use of the opioids, which they are using to auto-medicate the depression,” said Dr. Volkow.