Identifying Maintenance Doses of Opioids, When They Pose Problems for Patients With History of Opioid Abuse

Nicholas Mathews, co-founder of Stillwater Behavioral Health, discusses how pharmacists can respond to the identification of potentially problematic opioid prescription practices at sober-living facilities.

Pharmacy Times interviewed Nicholas Mathews, co-founder of Stillwater Behavioral Health, on certain practices related to opioid prescriptions at sober-living facilities that may pose problems for patients struggling to overcome an addiction to opioids.

Mathews explained that the facility he co-founded, Stillwater Behavioral Health, is a dual diagnosis treatment facility that is certified, regulated, and audited in order to ensure it supports patients recovering from substance addiction and mental health disorders. However, sober-living facilities are not regulated and audited in this same fashion, allowing for greater potential for abuse on the part of those managing the facilities.

During the discussion, Mathews also addresses ways of identifying an effective treatment program at sober-living facilities, what maintenance doses of opioids are and why they might be prescribed, the reasons why maintenance doses of opioids can pose problems for patients with a history of opioid abuse, what pharmacists can do to respond upon identifying potentially problematic maintenance doses of opioids, and how pharmacists can help address issues relating to the opioid epidemic through practices in the pharmacy.