“It is one of the biggest tools that I have in providing medical treatment. Limiting the scope of testing that can be provided will create significant limitations in identifying pertinent prescription and non-prescription substances used during care.”

Management of Medication Assisted Therapy for Individuals with Opioid Use Disorder

Medication adherence is of significant importance when assessing an individual participating in partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and sober living programs. This is true regardless of the condition that is being treated, and can be especially important in managing individuals with a combination of mental health conditions and opioid use disorder. Stacey Groves is a Physician Assistant in charge of the Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) program at Freeman Recovery in Burns, TN. Her focus of care is primarily on management of medication assisted therapy for individuals with opioid use disorder.

“Definitive testing allows for objective assessment of appropriate use of medications that I am prescribing and allows for identification of appropriate use of medications being prescribed for other comorbidities. Establishing and ensuring adherence to medications prescribed for the treatment of mental health conditions is key to stabilization while in my care and knowledge of adherence assists in helping individuals meet their treatment goals.”

The results below were reported based on testing of a specimen submitted by an individual at the initiation of treatment for opioid use disorder. Results were inclusive of multiple substances, including a high likelihood of illicitly-manufactured fentanyl that had been adulterated with xylazine and other designer opioids. Additionally, kratom, a legal substance that acts on opioid receptors, was detected. Broad understanding of substances used, which may not be understood or reported by an individual using adulterated drugs, is important when developing care plans.

“Individuals that are in my care often have multiple substance use disorders. In treating these individuals, it is important to be able to objectively identify what is being used in order to augment treatment. Increasingly, we see individuals that are unaware of substances used due to an adulterated drug supply such as xylazine and designer opioids.” said Groves

“Determining what individuals are taking, including both prescribed and non-prescribed substances, makes a huge impact on my clinical decisions. Additionally, the information that is provided within test results is an extremely valuable educational tool when discussing results with individuals in my care.”

In regards to testing as a tool, both broad and narrow, Groves said, “It is one of the biggest tools that I have in providing medical treatment. Limiting the scope of testing that can be provided will create significant limitations in identifying pertinent prescription and non-prescription substances used during care.”

Stacey Groves, Physician Assistant
Freeman Recovery Center is a treatment center for rehab.