ASAM Pocket Guidelines and Patient Guide

ASAM Opioid Patient Piece

ASAM Opioid Addiction Treatment GUIDELINES Apps and Pocket Guides brought to you courtesy of Guideline Central. Enjoy!

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Page 5 of 13

© 2016 American Society of Addiction Medicine. All rights reserved. 6 WITHDRAWAL • Opioid withdrawal refers to the wide range of symptoms that occur after stopping the use of opioid drugs. Withdrawal can last up to 10 days, but is most often between 3-5 days. • Although it can cause very troubling symptoms (such as vomiting, cramps, and sweating), withdrawal is rarely life- threatening. • Using medications to control withdrawal (also called withdrawal management) is almost always recommended over trying to quit "cold turkey." When patients do try to quit "cold turkey," it can lead to stronger cravings and continued use. • Withdrawal management on its own or with counseling is not treating opioid addiction and may increase the risk of relapse. When treating someone for opioid addiction, maintenance medication in combination with counseling and other support is recommended. Maintenance medication is defined as medication (see page 7) on a consistent schedule for persons with addiction. • In addition to counseling, patients are also encouraged to join support groups that include other patients who are also in recovery. • Counseling is not limited to the patient - there are also many support groups for family and friends of those dealing with addiction. Remember, addiction affects friends and family as well. Support from Family and Friends • Families and friends play a key role, and should try to learn as much as possible about addiction to improve the chances of a long-lasting recovery. • Places, persons and events associated with addiction may contribute to a relapse. It is very important that a patient avoids persons, places and other reminders of his/her drug use or learn how to respond to those reminders in ways that do not involve alcohol or drug use. This requires the continued support and encouragement of friends and family who are outside of that environment.

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