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.
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.
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.