Guidelines for Treating Opioid Addiction

Members of the ASAM guideline committee generated recommendations, titled the National Practice Guideline, through a formal process that combined both scientific evidence and clinical knowledge.

The National Practice Guideline includes information on appropriate use of pain medications, as well as recommendations on the use of naloxone. Patient populations with special needs and concerns are also identified. For each area addressed by the National Practice Guideline, the committee highlights key areas for further research.

“At this point in time, the available evidence indicates that use of medications in addition to psychosocial treatments is supported for the treatment of opioid use disorder,” the committee wrote. “Prescription of the indicated medications is not completely simple, and skill and time are required to ensure that treatment is effective and diversion of the abusable medications is not occurring. This Guideline describes aspects of treatment that should be attended to be effective.”


1. Kampman K, Jarvis M. American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) National Practice Guideline for the use of medications in the treatment of addiction involving opioid use. Addict Med. 2015;9(5):358-367. doi:10.1097/ADM.0000000000000166.