Opioid Use Disorder During and After Acute Hospitalization: A Case-Based Review Clarifying Methadone Regulation for Acute Care Settings
Managing Opioid Use Disorder During and After Acute Hospitalization: A Case-Based Review Clarifying Methadone Regulation for Acute Care Settings
Objective: Treatment with an opioid agonist such as methadone or buprenorphine is the standard of care for opioid use disorder. Persons with opioid use disorder are frequently hospitalized, and may be undertreated due to provider misinformation regarding the legality of prescribing methadone for inpatients. Using a casebased review, this article aims to describe effective management of active opioid withdrawal and ongoing opioid use disorder using methadone or buprenorphine among acutely ill, hospitalized patients. Methods: We reviewed pertinent medical and legal literature and consulted with national legal experts regarding methadone for opioid withdrawal and opioid maintenance therapy in hospitalized, general medical and surgical patients, and describe a real-life example of successful implementation of inpatient methadone for these purposes.