Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Opiate abuse is one of the fastest growing public health concerns in the United States and has far reaching ramifications that effect individual patients and their families, communities, and the healthcare system (U.S. Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center, 2010). It has been shown that there is significant gap in knowledge among healthcare providers surrounding the topic of opiate abuse and dependence as well as the available pharmacologic treatments that are available to help relieve withdrawal as well as help maintain heal truer lifestyles. In addition to this lack in knowledge there appears to be a gap in recognizing and addressing issue with patients (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 2000 & Hoffman & Heinemann, 1987). Several studies have shown that self-efficacy is a strong determinant in predicting outcomes of persons with addiction problems and that the use of pharmacologic intervention has increased self-efficacy (Hser, 2007, Rielly, Sees, 1995, & Barta, Kurth, Stein, Tennen, and Kiene, 2009). This project proposes that enhancing the education of healthcare providers in truss area will be enable providers to provide better care. This, in tum will help opiate dependent patients manage their addiction and by doing so decrease the ill effects of this disease. Provided in this paper is an overview of opiate use in the United States and how this use effects our patients and the healthcare system, a brief explanation of the cellular physiology involved in opiate dependence and withdrawal, a discussion of how Bandura's self-efficacy theory is related to opiate use and its treatment, and a comprehensive literature review of pharmacologic treatments available to treat opiate addiction.