Adapting a Behavioral Activation Intervention for Opioid Use Disorder and Methadone Treatment Retention for Peer Delivery in a Low-Resource Setting: A Case Series

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Cogn Behav Pract


While methadone treatment (MT) is effective in treating opioid use disorder (OUD), retention remains an issue nationwide, especially among low-income, minoritized populations. Peer recovery specialists (PRSs), individuals with lived substance use experience, are particularly well suited to support vulnerable populations, though often are not trained in delivering evidence-based interventions. Thus, our team developed a Type 1 hybrid effectiveness-implementation open-label pilot trial to evaluate the effectiveness of PRS-delivered BA (Peer Activate) in improving MT retention and establish feasibility, acceptability and PRS fidelity of the intervention. In this case series, we provide a more in-depth depiction of the adaption of Peer Activate and present three cases to illustrate how Peer Activate can be implemented among patients in routine MT care and adapted to meet the needs of varying clinical presentations. We include descriptive data on participant substance use and MT outcomes to supplement the narrative discussion. While varying participant presentations and needs presented challenges to the PRS interventionist, the PRS utilized his shared, lived substance use and recovery experiences and met participants where they were at, as well as successfully used BA techniques, ultimately leading to intervention success.


ePub ahead of print