How Can Doctor-Patient Relationships Improve Opioid Addiction Treatment Outcomes

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A comfortable, beneficial doctor-patient relationship can actually improve opioid addiction treatment outcomes. If you have yet to find a rehab center that will cater to your needs and ensure you are able to build the best recovery possible, call 800-584-3274 Who Answers? now.

Good Relationships, Successful Treatment

Doctors, nurses, and counselors should all work hard to create beneficial relationships with their patients during addiction rehab. Without this kind of comfortable and helpful connection, patients will be less likely to experience beneficial outcomes in recovery.

For example, “successful outcomes often depend on a person’s staying in treatment long enough to reap its full benefits,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And a number of aspects of treatment can affect one’s ability to stay in the program for longer, including relationships between clinicians and patients.

Patients who feel happy and comfortable with their clinicians will be likely to stay in the program for a longer amount of time. This is something many doctors and other medical professionals understand, and these individuals see it as part of their duty to create a beneficial relationship with their patients.

Doctor-Patient Relationships

A patient is more likely to attend treatment again when needed if they have a positive relationship with their doctor.

As also stated by the NIDA, a person who attends treatment for less than 90 days is likely to experience less successful outcomes than someone who stays for 90 days or longer. A person will be more likely to do this if

  • Their clinicians make them feel comfortable
  • Their clinicians can create a positive relationship that will make a strong connection
  • Their clinicians are able to foster trust

Positive Associations

Someone who is in a rehab facility where they have a beneficial relationship with their doctor or another clinician will be more likely to have positive associations with treatment and not only stay longer but feel confident in their recovery when they do leave. It can be hard to transition out of addiction treatment and back into one’s daily life, but if a person has positive associations with the time they spent in a rehab program, they will feel better about their decision to recover in general.

Those who have positive associations with addiction treatment will be more likely to seek it out again when and if they need it in the future. As stated by the NIDA, addiction is a chronic disease, and “most patients need long-term or repeated care to stop using completely and recover their lives.” Someone with positive associations with professional addiction treatment is more likely to seek care again during the times in their life when they need it.

Avoiding Relapse

Opioid relapse is one of the most dangerous relapse syndromes; in fact, according to the National Library of Medicine, most overdose deaths associated with opioid abuse occur in those who have just gone through detox. Creating a beneficial relationship between doctor and patient can help minimize the chance of relapse after detox and during or after addiction treatment in order to make the patient much safer.

  • Patients are more likely to listen to their doctors and take their advice if they feel comfortable with them and if the physician has been able to create trust.
  • Doctors are better at understanding the needs of the patients if they build a beneficial relationship with them because
    • Patients will be more likely to talk to their doctors.
    • Doctors will get to know their patients better and be able to better anticipate their needs.
  • As stated previously, patients will be more likely to return to treatment if they require it if their relationship with their doctor was positive and their memories of treatment are as well.

Keys to Opiate Rehab Success

What Do Poor Doctor-Patient Relationships Do?

If a patient is not able to connect with their doctor or does not feel comfortable with them, they will often shut down and not take their treatment as seriously. Doctors who do not foster these positive relationships will have a harder time getting through to their patients, and often, patients will not feel listened to. This can actually harm one’s recovery from opioid addiction and make an individual less likely to successfully put an end to their substance abuse.

Finding the Right Treatment

Rehab isn’t just about creating a good relationship with one’s doctor but also about finding the right treatment facility for one’s needs. Call 800-584-3274 Who Answers? now to be matched with the best option for your safe and effective recovery from opioid abuse and addiction.


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