I subscribe to the guidelines of The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which state that the objective of any opioid-based pain care strategy is to safely reduce pain and increase a patient’s ability to undertake everyday activities. Working with their doctor, patients can usually find safe and effective care options to help them reach their goals. The use of prescription opioids can have several side effects as well, even when taken as directed, and therefore need to be managed closely. 

Residential treatment programs are usually considered the highest intensity option for the treatment of OUD. Such programs are designed to provide a safe and supportive place to evaluate and treat those with substance use disorders. They do this by having medical personnel supervising residents on a 24-hour, 7-day a-week basis. In this manner they provide intensive addiction management, including monitoring of any complications that may arise. Residential treatment programs have been shown to be most beneficial for patients with unstable housing, co-morbid mental health conditions, or high medical need. 

For a patient to be considered in opioid remission, we need to see a reduction or disappearance of signs and symptoms of their opioid addiction. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) emphasizes that in order for those in recovery to achieve a state of remission, they must remain “actively involved” in their recovery, which may require taking any medications as prescribed, one on one therapy, 12 step programs, and maintaining ongoing contact with a sponsor. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) classifies actual remission as an improved state for both one’s mind and body functioning with significantly improved control over cravings and triggers.

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