Positive Psychology as a Protective Factor for Illicit Opioid Use in Individuals Receiving Methadone Treatment



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Illicit Opioid Use (IOU) following treatment for opioid use disorders is extremely high, ranging between 72-94% (Chalana, Kundal, Gupta, & Malhar, 2016; Smyth, Barry, Keenan, & Ducray, 2010). Current treatment modalities are not effective at reducing IOU in this population. The following study utilized Marlatt’s cognitive behavioral relapse prevention (CB-RP) model as a framework for understanding the relation between positive psychology traits and IOU for individuals receiving methadone as a medication assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders. A sample of 298 participants was recruited from various clinics administering methadone MAT in the metropolitan area of a large, Midwestern city. Two multiple moderator analyses were conducted to determine the effect of coping and self-efficacy on the relation between identified risks for IOU for individuals receiving MATs for opioid use disorder and drug screenings positive (DS+) for illicit opioids or treatment attendance days. It was hypothesized that individuals who are at a high risk for IOU but demonstrate effective coping and high self-efficacy will have a fewer proportion of DS+ for illicit opioids and an increased proportion of treatment attendance days. Results of the present study indicate coping is a predictor of DS+ for illicit opioids and being Black/African American is related to fewer treatment attendance days, but the overall moderation models were not significant.



Psychology, Clinical