Counseling interventions with buprenorphine for treatment of opioid use disorders

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Virginia Tech

Opioid abuse and opioid related deaths continue to affect families and communities across the United States. Medication-assisted treatment shows advantages over other types of interventions for opioid use disorder (OUD) (Bart, 2012). While buprenorphine, an approved medication for the treatment of OUD, has a wide research base to support its efficacy, there is little research or guidance on behavioral interventions to use in conjunction with the medication. Investigating clients' experiences in treatment can provide helpful and necessary information for improving treatment efforts. The following qualitative study used a phenomenological approach to explore the client experience of group therapy with buprenorphine for OUD. Results showed the importance of supportive, genuine relationships in recovery, as well as the need for accountability and a safe space for self-disclosure. This research highlights the importance of the therapeutic alliance, the 11 therapeutic factors of groups, and the necessity of building authentic relationships in treatment.

opioid use disorder, medication-assisted treatment, buprenorphine, group therapy