Drugs vs. Medications: Problems, Solutions and Implementation

The purpose of this talk is to present information on some of the most common medications used as part of the substance use disorder (SUD) treatment process. The medications to be reviewed will include antagonists (naltrexone and naloxone), partial (buprenorphine) and full agonists (methadone) for opioids, medications for alcohol use disorders (naltrexone, disulfiram – Antabuse, acomprosate) and medications for tobacco (nicotine replacement therapies).

We will then discuss ways to determine which medication may be best suited for the patient – including the use of scenario for discussion – as time allows.  This may help others to see that each medication has its place in the toolbox for the treatment of SUD.

Finally, we will discuss some steps to implementation both for those wishing to provide treatment in-house and for those who would prefer to collaborate with another agency to provide the medications. Ways to address the misinformation, stigma and resistance to the implementation of medications will also be presented.



Randolph Holmes, M.D. is Medical Director for L.A. CADA. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, and a staff physician at PIH Hospital, in Whittier, where he also maintains a private practice. Dr. Holmes is Chairperson of the Public Policy Committee for the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM). He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California and his Medical Degree from the University of Southern California.


Desiree Crevecoeur-MacPhail, Ph.D is Director of Quality Assurance and Utilization Management for L.A. CADA. Dr. Crevecoeur-McPhail is the author of several papers on the effects of addiction on the brain, withdrawal, methamphetamine use by American Indians and Latinos, and treatment effectiveness. She received her doctorate from Claremont Graduate University in social psychology and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University.

This conference meets the qualifications for the provision of six (6.0) continuing education credits/contact hours (CEs/CEHs). UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP) is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs (Provider #64812). UCLA ISAP maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content. This conference meets the qualifications for six (6.0) hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. UCLA ISAP is also an approved provider of continuing education for RADTs I/II, CADCs-CASs, CADCs I/II, CADCs-CSs, and LAADCs (CCAPP, #2N-00-445-1119), CATCs (ACCBC, #CP 20 872 C 0819), and CAODCs (CADTP, #151). CE credit will be awarded at the conclusion of the conference. Partial credit will not be available for those participants who arrive late or leave early.