Psych Congress
Psych Congress
October 23, 2016
6 min watch

VIDEO: Behavioral interventions, medication-assisted treatment key to treating opioid addiction

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

SAN ANTONIO — To treat opioid addiction, clinicians must implement behavioral interventions in addition to medication-assisted treatments, according to Thomas Kosten, MD, of Baylor College of Medicine.

“Treating chronic pain for more than 3 months with opiates, particularly benign chronic pain — low back pain, fibromyalgia, headaches — these are the kinds of things that lead to opiate dependence but do not product sustained analgesic effects,” Kosten told “In fact, over time they produce hyperalgesia.”

Hyperalgesia occurs in approximately 50% of patients with opiate dependence and worsens pain, according to Kosten.

Behavioral interventions are an important part of managing opioid addiction, as psychiatric conditions can be a contributing factor to opioid dependence.

Kosten emphasized the benefits of methadone maintenance, naltrexone maintenance and buprenorphine for opioid addiction and the serious harms of fentanyl.