Opiate Case Study

bridge-path-straight-woodenThis addiction case study is a hypothetical example based on our experiences. Our clients’ information is held in strict confidence as a condition of our agreements in every case.

Diego is a 25-year-old international student living alone while attending undergraduate classes in Boston. He has a long history of poly-substance use disorder, relational trauma, and sexual compulsivity. During his first semester in Boston, he began using oxycontin recreationally and quickly became physically dependent. His use progressed to heroin, which he was smoking. Within a couple of months, Diego was regularly experiencing withdrawal symptoms if he went one day without using opioids. Diego still believed that he was not addicted, and he wanted to avoid inpatient treatment. Diego’s family hired an OPG therapeutic recovery coach to meet with him several times per week to administer drug tests and to help him understand his situation and his options. The OPG team provided the following services:

  • The coach and Diego co-created a recovery plan with a consequence of going to inpatient detoxification if Diego could not abstain from opiate use while living in his apartment
  • The coach sourced a local addiction psychiatrist and therapist and arranged appointments and transportation for Diego
  • The coach sourced an addiction focused intensive outpatient program for Diego to attend, accompanied Diego to the intake, and arranged transportation for him to the program
  • The coach and Diego met regularly in the community, attended 12-step recovery meetings, and explored introductory mindfulness practices together
  • The coach worked closely with Diego’s therapist, psychiatrist, and intensive outpatient program, providing regular updates on his progress and the results of his drug screenings
  • An OPG family coach updated Diego’s family weekly on his progress

After 6 weeks of services, Diego was unable to remain abstinent from opiate use. After an argument with his family, Diego’s coach convinced him to go to a detoxification facility. The coach arranged an immediate transport to a high-end detox facility well known to the OPG team. The coach also sourced an inpatient addiction program for one month of follow up care. Diego’s coach arranged a medical leave from school during this process. Diego resumed coaching services after his discharge from the treatment facility, and his coach served as a live-in companion for several periods of 1-2 weeks following discharge. After a couple of brief relapses, Diego eventually was able to maintain abstinence from opiates for an extended period of time.