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Patients with a Substance Use Disorder

People with addiction and substance use disorder (SUD) have to receive professional and high-quality care and follow-up. It is not enough to prescribe some drugs and visit meetings to prevent and control complications. Regular communication and family education are integral parts of this type of research. During the last 20 years, a dramatic increase in overdose deaths is observed in the United States (Brady, McCauley, & Back, 2015).

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Such researchers as Brady et al. (2015) recommend the promotion of policy and educational initiatives, and Penzenstadler, Machado, Thorens, Zullino, and Khazaal (2017) differentiate various case management (CM) models for patients to improve treatment outcomes. This research aims at evaluating the relevance of practices and research impact on nursing care offered by a psychiatry mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP).

Research Relevance to People

In modern nursing practice, it is expected to enhance people’s knowledge about drug addiction and health-related problems. Patients should not deal with their SUDs alone, and the task of nurses is to involve family members and friends in a recovery process. Brady et al. (2015) explain the worth of family and friend assessment by mental health professionals as a good method to identify all the possible interventions and define the best treatment approach for a particular patient. The relevance of the study developed by Penzenstadler et al. (2017) lies in the analysis of the already successful and approved randomized controlled studies focused on the psychosocial functioning of patients and their families. Addicted and SUD-diagnosed people can find credible aid for self-care and monitoring at home.

Research Influence on Practice

This research will influence the practice of a PMHNP in several ways. Firstly, it is a chance to understand the needs and expectations of patients who ask healthcare providers for help. Secondly, in terms of this practice, it is possible to learn recent improvements in care and learn all the obstacles and challenges in the development of a treatment care plan. Finally, the fact that both studies involved American patients, specific cultural implications and health outcomes cannot be ignored. All these details improve an understanding of the population needs and expectations of their families when it is time to address for professional medical care.

Additional Knowledge

To improve care for addicted patients, a nurse practitioner must be aware of all the recent changes and achievements in the field. For example, it is required to follow the investigation about seeking for help as one of the most crucial steps to recovery developed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (2016). Ebenau et al. (2018) do not reject the possibility of death among addicted patients and underline the right to an optimal end-of-life phase for all the patients. I want to know more about practices and care options for addicted people and be ready for various outcomes.


In general, treatment options for patients with addiction and SUD may vary, depending on personal needs and professional awareness. Sometimes, nurses find it obligatory to focus on psychosocial changes and behaviors of patients. In the majority of cases, medication treatment is introduced as the only reliable option. However, regardless of the chosen care method, a nurse should be prepared for different outcomes and give clear explanations to patients, their families, and friends.

Communication, new models, and comprehensive learning are the major aspects of research about addicted people. Medication-assisted treatment is a part of recovery, but it should never be considered as the only option in nursing practice.

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American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2016). Opioid addiction treatment: A guide for patients, families and friends. Web.

Brady, K. T., McCauley, J. L., & Back, S. E. (2015). Prescription opioid misuse, abuse, and treatment in the United States: An update. American Journal of Psychiatry, 173(1), 18-26. Web.

Ebenau, A., Dijkstra, B., Stal-Klapwijk, M., ter Huurne, C., Blom, A., Vissers, K., & Groot, M. (2018). Palliative care for patients with a substance use disorder and multiple problems: A study protocol. BMC Palliative Care, 17(1), 97. Web.

Penzenstadler, L., Machado, A., Thorens, G., Zullino, D., & Khazaal, Y. (2017). Effect of case management interventions for patients with substance use disorders: A systematic review. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 8, 51. Web.

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