Interventions for the prevention of opiate use disorder in patients with high adverse childhood experience scores in northern New Mexico: a qualitative project
Clawson, Kendra Sweeney
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Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are known to be associated with chronic disease, various disorders, and social-emotional challenges (Anda et al., 2008). Furthermore, illicit drug use has been indicated to be associated with ACE scores, in a dose-dependent relationship (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016a). This DNP project explored the experience of patients with opiate use disorder (OUD) in northern New Mexico, who had ACE scores of four or greater. The purpose of the project was to identify, via structured interviews, interventions the participants felt may have been significant in preventing their OUD. The project sought to specifically examine interventions as they relate to ACEs. The project gave a voice to those who have the lived experience of both ACEs and OUD, to synthesize strategies to address ACEs, and conceivably build resilience. In analyzing the participant responses, the most prominent themes identified were intentional communication, understanding the home environment, creating a safe space for the pediatric patient, referring to counseling, and providing increased education regarding opiates and mental health respectively. These approaches were compared to similar interventions in the literature, to synthesize recommendations to inform the practice of primary care providers, school nurses, and counselors who interact with children with high ACE scores in the northern New Mexico region (Felitti et al., 1998).