“Dr. Yih-Ing Hser and her colleagues (Elizabeth Evans, Christine Grella, Walter Ling, and Douglas Anglin) have just published an important review—Long-Term Course of Opioid Addiction–in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry. Findings from their review of 28 long-term studies of opioid addiction that have particular relevance for addiction professionals, recovery support specialists, and recovery advocates include the following.
- Studies of recovery from opioid addiction are plagued by a lack of consensus on measurable recovery outcomes.
- The trajectory of long-term opioid use is marked by high rates of morbidity.
- There is a significant time delay between the onset of opioid use and help-seeking—6-10 years in the studies reviewed.
- The most common trajectory of opioid dependence is marked by cycles of active use, periods of remission, and return to opiate use and its related problems.
- While opioid abstinence rates erode over time, there is evidence of stable and sustained recovery from opioid dependence.
- Achieving opioid abstinence for a period of five or more years is an important marker of recovery stability, but addiction recurrence can still occur after this benchmark.
- Professional treatment of opioid addiction, particularly prolonged treatment and higher cumulative doses of treatment, is associated with more positive outcomes, but these effects can be ephemeral.
- Prolonged opioid addiction is also often marked by developmental trauma and co-occurring medical and psychiatric conditions…”
Source: WilliamWhitePapers.com – August 14, 2015