Date of Submission
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Science and Management
2020 Juliana M Favela
Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a substance use disorder that characterizes a dependence on and an addiction to opioids. Opioids attack the prefrontal cortex, the dopaminergic reward system, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis which is responsible for the body’s stress response. Opioids constantly shift one’s “set point” to the point where normal actions that cause joy and excitement no longer cause those feelings, resulting in craving and dependence. The opioid epidemic is currently ravaging the United States and has disproportionately affected Native American populations specifically in the rural areas (Tipps, et.al, 2018). The current methods for addressing OUD include medicine and is more formally called medical assisted treatment (MAT). Different agonist and antagonist medicines are utilized, including methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, and occasionally Patient Centered Care (PCC) is an aspect of OUD treatment. This treatment style leaves gaps in the patients’ personal development, mental health, and confidence and self-esteem building. Therefore, this proposal will attempt to combine culturally holistic methods with MAT in order to fill those gaps and address aspects relating to the patient’s internal development post-addiction. Using a range of tests ranging from sobriety retention rate, to familial re-integration using the Family Environmental Scale (FES), to urinary cortisol levels, and finally neuroimaging using fMRI and EEG on two groups of OUD patients with Native American or Mexican heritage (n=45). Culturally holistic methods will be a combination of Native American and Mexican indigenous healing methods. The first group will only receive MAT while the second group will receive both MAT and culturally holistic methods, in order to compare the effects of this additional healing approach. We expect that the second group will consistently outperform group one on all tests due to the increased attention to their personal development and attention to mental health.
Favela, Juliana, "More than a Myth: The Benefits of Incorporating Holistic Healing Methods from Native American and Mexican Cultures to Approach Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Treatment" (2021). CMC Senior Theses. 2586.
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