When providing treatment for opioid addiction, a critical part of providers getting patients to buy into a treatment plan is giving them input into its creation, Robert Matylewicz, DO, FASAM, medical director at Clarity Way Inc., told attendees at the Summit for Clinical Excellence event on Monday in Pittsburgh.
“We don’t want patients to be surprised,” Matylewicz said. “You don’t want to make decisions about their healthcare without them knowing what’s going on. That could be everything from starting buprenorphine or starting Vivitrol to deciding what type of therapy they need or who needs therapy.”
Patients with addictive disorders tend to be controlling by nature, Matylewicz said following the presentation. As such, empowering them both during the creation and the implementation of a treatment plan can improve the odds for better outcomes.
“Once we get patients into treatment, we want to engage them so they know that we know what they’re thinking, not just from a drug-seeking standpoint, but from what their expectations are for the future and where they’re going,” Matylewicz said. “Then we can plan together. People with addictive disorders, we don’t want them too high or too low. We just want them informed as we move forward. We don’t want to shock them halfway through treatment and say we’re going from A to B now. We want them informed because it helps with long-term recovery.”
In many instances, patients don’t enter such conversations with providers completely uninformed. Information about addiction treatment options is more widely available than ever. Matylewicz said this is a positive development overall.
“If you’re a provider in this field, you have to know we’re in an information world, so that information is wonderful for people to have,” he said. “It provides them with some education so that when they come to you, you can answer their questions because they’re already at a different level.”