For the first time on record, the odds of dying from an opioid overdose is greater than dying in a mobile vehicle crash, according to the National Safety Council.
Opioid addiction, a public health emergency that attributed to 42,249 deaths in the U.S. in 2016, has prompted policymakers, researchers and clinicians to join together to devise strategies to combat this crisis. One of the latest innovations and solutions to address this epidemic is reSET-O, a recently FDA-approved mobile app developed by Pear Therapeutics. The software is intended to increase retention of patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) in outpatient treatment. This will be done by providing cognitive behavioral therapy as an adjunct to outpatient treatment that includes transmucosal buprenorphine and contingency management, for patients 18 years or older who are currently under the supervision of a clinician. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological treatment that involves efforts to change thinking patterns and/or behavioral patterns. It has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, eating disorders and severe mental illness.
“There is an urgent need for new and innovative therapeutics to address this public health epidemic. This groundbreaking decision by the FDA ushers in a new standard for treating patients with opioid use disorder and it signals a new path for therapeutic software to be used in conjunction with pharmacotherapy to improve efficacy, said Corey McCann, M.D., Ph.D., BrainFutures advisor and President and CEO of Pear Therapeutics.”