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Study: Outpatient Detox and Therapy Helpful for Opioid Dependence

Study: Outpatient Detox and Therapy Helpful for Opioid Dependence

A NIDA-funded clinical trial recently revealed that a combination of outpatient Suboxone detoxification followed by postdetox naltrexone therapy has good outcomes for patients with opioid dependence. 


The study was a double-blind, randomized clinical trial conducted by Dr. Stacey Sigmon at the University of Vermont (Lavitt, 2015). The trial featured a three-step process. First, the seventy participants had their cravings stabilized with Suboxone. Secondly, the participants experienced tapering of the Suboxone. Lastly, and once the participants tested negative, they were given postdetox naltrexone therapy. 


Researchers found that “of the patients assigned to the four-week taper, 50 percent were opioid-abstinent at the end of the twelve-week trial” (Lavitt, 2015). According to Dr. Sigmon, “Outpatient detoxification can be effective . . . This finding may hold particular relevance for prescription opioid abusers, many of whom are younger and have briefer histories of opioid dependence” (Lavitt, 2015). 




Lavitt, J. (2015). Study shows outpatient detox combined with therapy works for painkiller dependence. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/content/nida-study-shows-outpatient-detoxification-combined-therapy-works-painkiller-dependence