Addiction Medicine

Our goal for the Addiction Medicine Service Line is to reduce stigma experienced by people who use substances and to provide patient centered care for all hospitalized patients with substance use disorders.

Our addiction consultation service was created in 2018 with partnerships between the Division of Hospital Medicine at the University of Colorado, the Upper Limit Payment Program, and CU Medicine. We run a Monday through Friday hospital-based addiction consultation service fully staffed by hospitalists trained in addiction medicine, advanced practice providers with experience in addiction medicine, two dedicated addiction medicine social workers, and one care coordinator who also services as a peer recovery coach.

Our team meets with patients to inquire about their substance use goals using motivational interviewing. When indicated, we initiate medications for alcohol and opioid use disorder, including buprenorphine, methadone, oral or intramuscular naltrexone, or acamprosate. We manage complicated alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal, we partner with teams to initiate emergency commitments with the state of Colorado, manage complex pain in the setting of opioid use disorder, and manage acute post-operative pain in patients on buprenorphine or methadone. We work with our hepatology colleagues to facilitate linkage to residential addiction treatment for patients following liver transplantation. Our social workers and care coordinator have visited a number of local treatment facilities and are savvy in linking patients to all levels of addiction-based care post hospital discharge including outpatient addiction clinics, intensive outpatient treatment, and residential treatment.

We are partners with the University of Colorado Addiction Recovery Treatment Services Opioid Treatment Program (ARTS-OTP) to directly enroll patients into methadone treatment during hospitalizations and titrate their methadone dose with direct, uninterrupted methadone dosing at ARTS-OTP upon hospital discharge.


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