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Follow-Up Visits

Patient monitoring during follow-up visits should address the following points: 

  • Whether the patient continues to use alcohol or illicit drugs, or to engage in non-medical use of prescription drugs;  
  • The degree of compliance with the treatment regimen, including the use of prescribed medications as directed;  
  • Changes (positive or negative) in social functioning and relationships;  
  • Avoidance of high-risk individuals, situations, and diversion risk;  
  • Review of whether and to what degree the patient is involved in counseling and other psychosocial therapies, as well as in self-help activities through participation in mutual support meetings of groups such as Narcotics Anonymous;  
  • The presence or absence of medication side effects; and  
  • Individuals being treated with medication-assisted therapy often demonstrate dramatic improvement in addiction-related behaviors and psychosocial functioning. Such positive changes should be acknowledged and reinforced by the prescribing physician whenever possible.  
  • Urine drug testing should be ordered whenever deemed medically appropriate, but at least once every 6-12 months. 
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