• The Use of Naltrexone Among Young Adults with Opioid Use Disorder

      Rozenberg, Ilya; Storr, Carla L. (2020)
      Background: The rapid growth of opioid addiction carries catastrophic consequences for the young generation affecting families and society at large. To address problems of compliance and retention in treatment, new, innovative approaches synthesizing available interdisciplinary models with both medical and psychosocial approaches adapted to the user’s environment are necessary. Purpose: This dissertation explored the evidence in literature on the use of naltrexone (XR-NTX) in adolescents and young adults. It also examined relationships between retention in treatment and 1) family engagement, 2) assertive community outreach and 3) use of other substances in a sample of youth being treated for opioid use disorders (OUD). Methods: A scoping literature review provided a synthesis of the current state of evidence on safety and efficacy of XR-NTX use in treating youth with OUD and alcohol use disorders. Relationships between retention in treatment and family engagement, assertive outreach, and comorbid substance use were explored using data from a retrospective chart review of 41 young adults (16-26 years of age) who participated in a randomized open-label pilot study of OUD treatment at a community-based substance use disorder treatment program. Results: Family sessions contributed to increased retention in treatment, evidenced by the increase in number of injections. More frequent communication resulted in a higher number of received injections. There is a positive correlation between number of family sessions and number of doses. The total number of significant other contacts does not have a significant effect on the number of injections while the total number of patient contacts was significant. The study showed that most young adults seeking treatment for opioid use disorder are also using other substances and that the longer they stay in treatment, the greater the chance of decreasing use of other drugs. The review of 13 studies with 462 young adults found that Naltrexone is effective in improving treatment retention, extending abstinence, and preventing relapses in adolescents and young adults with OUD. Conclusion: Family support and ongoing communications could result in increasing retention in treatment. The study allowed for a better understanding of the relationship between treatment of opioid use and use of other substances.