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When Added to Opioid Agonist Treatment, Psychosocial Interventions do not Further Reduce the Use of Illicit Opioids: A Comment on Dugosh et al.

Schwartz, Robert P. MD

doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000236

This commentary reviews the limitations of the recent literature review by Dugosh et al., (2016) that examined the role of psychosocial interventions with medication for opioid addiction treatment. The commonly held belief that opioid agonist treatment alone is inferior treatment to such treatment combined with "psychosocial" treatment (which many will understand to mean counseling) is not supported by the research evidence and it results in limitations on the use of these effective medications.

Friends Research Institute; and Department of Psychiatry, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Send correspondence and reprint requests to Robert P. Schwartz, MD, Friends Research Institute, 1040 Park Avenue, Suite 103, Baltimore, MD 21201-5633. E-mail:

Received 8 April, 2016

Accepted 21 April, 2016

Source of funding: This work was supported through National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Grant Nos. 2R01DA15842 and 2U01DA013636. NIDA or the National Institutes of Health hand no role in the preparation, review, or approval of this manuscript.

Conflict of interest: The author performed a 1-time consultation for Reckitt Benckiser on behalf of his employer.

© 2016 American Society of Addiction Medicine