CODA Researchers recently published a preliminary study exploring the role of nutritional assessments in treatment for opioid-dependent populations. Experts have long agreed that opioid users are at risk of poor nutritional health, but using a related screening tool during treatment intake had not been formally considered.

The tool provides information about the health status of patients, while quickly revealing what additional community referrals may be most helpful. 

This study explores the relevancy of a specific nutritional assessment screening tool as well as the relationship between a participant’s level of nutritional risk and their retention in a methadone-assisted treatment program. The study found that a patient with high nutritional risk scores is 2.2 times more likely to leave methadone treatment.

(Put another way: Using such a tool can help identify when intervention is needed for the nutritional health of a patient, and also raise the likelihood that s/he will stay in treatment for opioid addiction.)

This study highlights the way CODA strives to improve patient care through research – identifying high risk patients and providing targeted interventions.

 The study is published in the Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, “A Preliminary Study Examining Nutritional Risk Factors, Body Mass Index, and Treatment Retention in Opioid-Dependent Patients.”