What should be included in patient education about opioid abuse?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018
  • Author: David W Dixon, DO; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Understanding the nature of the disease helps formulate a strategy to fight against it. Although information may be provided in a single session, generally it is continuous process that begins at the identification of the problem. Statistical evidence may be provided if needed to facilitate the patient's understanding of the disease. The education must cover the following areas:

  • Inform the patient in no unclear terms about their inability to use the substance in a controlled fashion.

  • Treatment alone is hardly ever successful, and rehabilitation is almost always needed for recovery.

  • Will power is not enough to beat the disease, and the role of Narcotics Anonymous must be emphasized.

  • Recovery is possible, and a significant number of people are successful.

  • After a relapse, the patient must be encouraged and informed that it is not unusual and that a slip could be a valuable experience.

  • Dysphoric effects after abstinence are the main reason of relapse. Patients should be ready and equip themselves with a coping strategy.

  • Tell patient to value recovery and avoid high-risk situations of active drug use.

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