120+ Research Topics on Addiction Nursing: A Comprehensive Guide for Nursing Students

Addiction nursing is a critical and evolving field within healthcare that demands specialized knowledge and skills to provide effective care to individuals struggling with substance use disorders. This article is a comprehensive guide for nursing students interested in research topics on addiction nursing, offering insights into its importance, PICOT questions, evidence-based project ideas, nursing capstone project ideas, research paper topics, research questions, and essay topics.

Introduction to Addiction Nursing

Addiction nursing, also known as substance abuse nursing or chemical dependency nursing, is a specialized branch of nursing dedicated to caring for individuals affected by substance use disorders. These disorders encompass various substances, from alcohol and prescription medications to illicit drugs. Addiction nursing is vital because addiction is a complex health issue with far-reaching consequences for individuals, families, and communities.

Addiction nurses play a pivotal role in assessing, intervening, and supporting patients battling addiction. They provide a holistic approach to care, addressing addiction’s physical and psychological aspects. This includes withdrawal management, medication administration, counseling, and education on harm reduction strategies. Addiction nurses work in various settings, such as detoxification units, rehabilitation facilities, outpatient clinics, and mental health centers.

10 PICOT Question Examples in Addiction Nursing

  1. P: Adolescents with substance use disorders; I: Implementation of a school-based prevention program; C: Standard curriculum without substance use education; O: Reduction in the rate of substance abuse among adolescents; T: 1 year.

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to substance use disorders. Can a school-based prevention program effectively reduce the rate of substance abuse among adolescents when compared to a standard curriculum without substance use education?

  1. P: Adults in a residential treatment center; I: Implement mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy; C: Traditional counseling without mindfulness therapy; O: Reduction in stress levels and relapse rates; T: 6 months.

Compared to traditional counseling without mindfulness therapy, does mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy reduce stress levels and relapse rates in adults attending a residential treatment center?

  1. P: Pregnant women with opioid use disorder; I: Initiation of methadone maintenance therapy; C: No pharmacological treatment during pregnancy; O: Neonatal abstinence syndrome incidence; T: From pregnancy to delivery.

Is methadone maintenance therapy effective in reducing the incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome in pregnant women with opioid use disorder compared to no pharmacological treatment during pregnancy?

  1. P: Individuals in an outpatient substance abuse program; I: Implementation of regular telehealth follow-up sessions; C: Traditional in-person follow-up appointments; O: Treatment adherence and relapse rates; T: 3 months.

Do regular telehealth follow-up sessions improve treatment adherence and reduce relapse rates in individuals attending an outpatient substance abuse program when compared to traditional in-person follow-up appointments?

  1. P: Homeless population with substance use disorders; I: Establishment of a mobile harm reduction clinic; C: No access to harm reduction services; O: Reduction in drug-related infections and overdose deaths; T: 1 year.

Can the establishment of a mobile harm reduction clinic reduce drug-related infections and overdose deaths among the homeless population with substance use disorders compared to those with no access to harm reduction services?

  1. P: Inpatients undergoing alcohol detoxification; I: Administration of acamprosate as an adjunct to treatment; C: Standard detoxification protocol without acamprosate; O: Time to achieve abstinence and withdrawal symptom severity; T: 14 days.

Does the administration of acamprosate as an adjunct to treatment reduce the time to achieve abstinence and the severity of withdrawal symptoms in inpatients undergoing alcohol detoxification when compared to a standard detoxification protocol without acamprosate?

  1. P: Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and comorbid substance use disorder; I: Concurrent treatment for PTSD and substance use disorder; C: Sequential treatment for PTSD followed by substance use disorder; O: Improvement in PTSD symptom severity and substance use outcomes; T: 6 months.

Is concurrent treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder more effective in improving PTSD symptom severity and substance use outcomes in veterans compared to sequential treatment for PTSD followed by substance use disorder?

  1. P: Patients in an opioid agonist therapy program; I: Implementation of a patient navigation system; C: Standard care without patient navigation; O: Retention in treatment and achievement of sustained abstinence; T: 12 months.

Does the implementation of a patient navigation system improve retention in treatment and the achievement of sustained abstinence among patients in an opioid agonist therapy program compared to standard care without patient navigation?

  1. P: Individuals with a history of substance use disorder in a community setting; I: Distribution of naloxone kits and training in opioid overdose reversal; C: No distribution of naloxone kits or training; O: Reduction in opioid overdose deaths; T: 2 years.

Can the distribution of naloxone kits and training in opioid overdose reversal reduce opioid overdose deaths among individuals with a history of substance use disorder in a community setting compared to those without access to naloxone kits or training?

  1. P: Patients receiving long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain; I: Implementation of a multidisciplinary pain management program; C: Standard opioid therapy without multidisciplinary care; O: Improvement in pain control and reduction in opioid misuse; T: 6 months.

Does the implementation of a multidisciplinary pain management program lead to better pain control and reduced opioid misuse in patients receiving long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain compared to standard opioid therapy without multidisciplinary care?

20 Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Project Ideas in Addiction Nursing

  1. Evaluating the effectiveness of harm reduction strategies in reducing drug-related infections.
  2. Assessing the impact of telehealth services on access to addiction treatment in rural areas.
  3. Investigating the role of peer support in relapse prevention among individuals with substance use disorders.
  4. Analyzing the outcomes of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in pregnant women with opioid use disorder.
  5. Examining the use of motivational interviewing in improving treatment engagement for adolescents with substance use disorders.
  6. Implementing a naloxone distribution program in community pharmacies and measuring its impact on overdose prevention.
  7. Investigating the effectiveness of contingency management in promoting abstinence from substance use.
  8. Evaluating the long-term outcomes of residential rehabilitation programs for individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
  9. Assessing the implementation of medication reconciliation protocols for patients with dual diagnoses.
  10. Studying the utilization of mindfulness-based interventions in relapse prevention.
  11. Investigating the association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the development of substance use disorders.
  12. Analyzing the impact of stigma reduction interventions on treatment-seeking behavior among marginalized populations.
  13. Assessing the role of genetic factors in addiction susceptibility and treatment response.
  14. Evaluating the use of digital health apps in supporting individuals in recovery.
  15. Investigating the effectiveness of motivational text messaging in improving treatment retention.
  16. Assessing the economic impact of substance use disorders on healthcare systems and society.
  17. Exploring the use of alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and yoga, in addiction treatment.
  18. Investigating the integration of addiction nursing care into primary care settings.
  19. Analyzing the influence of social determinants of health on addiction outcomes.
  20. Evaluating the impact of legislative changes, such as marijuana legalization, on substance use patterns and addiction treatment needs.

20 Nursing Capstone Project Ideas in Addiction Nursing

  1. Developing a comprehensive addiction nursing curriculum for nursing education programs.
  2. Creating a community-based outreach program to provide education on substance use prevention.
  3. Designing and implementing a peer support program for individuals in addiction recovery.
  4. Evaluating the effectiveness of a harm reduction clinic in reducing overdose deaths.
  5. Investigating the impact of trauma-informed care on treatment outcomes for survivors of sexual assault with substance use disorders.
  6. Implementing a quality improvement project to enhance medication safety in addiction treatment centers.
  7. Designing a telehealth platform for delivering addiction counseling services.
  8. Developing a standardized assessment tool for identifying substance use disorders in primary care settings.
  9. Creating a training program for healthcare professionals on recognizing and addressing substance use disorders in clinical practice.
  10. Evaluating the feasibility of implementing pharmacogenomic testing in addiction treatment decision-making.
  11. Designing and conducting a study on the effectiveness of equine-assisted therapy in addiction recovery.
  12. Developing a public health campaign to raise awareness about the opioid overdose crisis and available resources.
  13. Implementing a naloxone distribution program in high-risk communities and assessing its impact on overdose prevention.
  14. Designing a peer-led harm reduction program for incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders.
  15. Developing a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program in a correctional facility and assessing its outcomes.
  16. Creating a support group for family members and friends of individuals with substance use disorders.
  17. Investigating the use of telemedicine for medication management in opioid agonist therapy.
  18. Designing a culturally sensitive intervention for addressing substance use disparities in underserved communities.
  19. Developing a substance use prevention program for adolescents in school settings.
  20. Conducting a study on the long-term outcomes of addiction nursing interventions in diverse patient populations.

20 Nursing Research Paper Topics in Addiction Nursing

  1. The Role of Nursing Interventions in Managing Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms.
  2. Understanding the Impact of Stigma on Treatment Access for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders.
  3. Pharmacological Treatment Options for Alcohol Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review.
  4. The Effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing in Substance Use Disorder Treatment.
  5. A Comparative Analysis of Medication-Assisted Treatment Modalities for Opioid Use Disorder.
  6. The Relationship Between Childhood Adversity and Substance Use Patterns in Adulthood.
  7. Cultural Competence in Addiction Nursing: Challenges and Best Practices.
  8. The Economic Burden of Substance Use Disorders on Healthcare Systems.
  9. Telehealth in Addiction Nursing: Expanding Access to Care.
  10. Trauma-Informed Care in Addiction Treatment: A Systematic Review.
  11. Gender Disparities in Substance Use and Treatment Outcomes.
  12. The Role of Genetics in Predicting Treatment Response in Substance Use Disorders.
  13. Exploring the Impact of Legalization on Marijuana Use and Addiction Rates.
  14. The Effectiveness of Harm Reduction Strategies in Reducing Drug-Related Infections.
  15. Nursing’s Role in Addressing the Opioid Overdose Epidemic.
  16. Dual Diagnosis: Co-Occurrence of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.
  17. The Use of Alternative Therapies in Addiction Treatment.
  18. Patient-Centered Care in Addiction Nursing: A Qualitative Study.
  19. The Influence of Social Determinants of Health on Addiction Recovery.
  20. Ethical Dilemmas in Addiction Nursing: Balancing Patient Autonomy and Harm Reduction.

20 Addiction Nursing Research Questions

  1. What are the most effective nursing interventions for managing withdrawal symptoms in opioid-dependent patients?
  2. How does stigma affect treatment-seeking behavior and outcomes for individuals with substance use disorders?
  3. What pharmacological options are available to treat alcohol use disorder, and what are their comparative effectiveness?
  4. Does motivational interviewing significantly impact treatment engagement and outcomes in substance use disorder treatment?
  5. What are the outcomes differences between medication-assisted treatment modalities for opioid use disorder?
  6. Is there a link between childhood adversity and specific substance use patterns in adulthood?
  7. How can healthcare providers enhance cultural competence in addiction nursing to serve diverse patient populations better?
  8. What is the economic burden of substance use disorders on healthcare systems, and how can it be mitigated?
  9. What is the role of telehealth in improving access to addiction treatment, especially in rural areas?
  10. How can trauma-informed care principles be effectively integrated into addiction treatment programs?
  11. Do gender disparities exist in substance use patterns and outcomes, and if so, what are the contributing factors?
  12. Can genetic factors predict an individual’s response to specific treatments for substance use disorders?
  13. How has the legalization of marijuana impacted rates of use and addiction?
  14. What is the effectiveness of harm reduction strategies in reducing drug-related infections among drug users?
  15. What is the current state of opioid overdose prevention and treatment, and how can nursing contribute to its improvement?
  16. What are the challenges and best practices in treating individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders?
  17. How do alternative therapies like acupuncture and yoga impact addiction treatment outcomes?
  18. What are the key components of patient-centered care in addiction nursing, and how can they be implemented effectively?
  19. How do social determinants of health influence an individual’s ability to achieve and maintain recovery from addiction?
  20. What ethical dilemmas do nurses encounter in addiction nursing, and how can they be addressed while upholding patient autonomy and harm reduction principles?

30 Essay Topic Ideas & Examples in Addiction Nursing

  1. The Role of Addiction Nurses in Combating the Opioid Epidemic.
  2. The Impact of COVID-19 on Substance Use and Addiction Nursing.
  3. The Ethical Considerations of Medication-Assisted Treatment in Addiction Nursing.
  4. Harm Reduction Strategies: Saving Lives in the Midst of the Opioid Crisis.
  5. Exploring the Connection Between Childhood Trauma and Substance Use Disorders.
  6. Nursing’s Contribution to Reducing Stigma in Addiction Treatment.
  7. Telehealth and Addiction Nursing: Expanding Access to Care.
  8. A Comprehensive Review of Medication Options for Alcohol Use Disorder.
  9. The Intersection of Mental Health and Substance Use: Challenges and Solutions.
  10. Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes in Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorder.
  11. Integrating Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Addiction Treatment.
  12. Cultural Competence in Addiction Nursing: Ensuring Equitable Care.
  13. The Economic Impact of Substance Use Disorders on Healthcare Systems.
  14. Exploring the Genetic Basis of Addiction Vulnerability.
  15. The Legalization of Marijuana: Implications for Addiction Nursing.
  16. Addressing Healthcare Disparities in Substance Use Disorder Treatment.
  17. Patient-Centered Care in Addiction Nursing: A Humanistic Approach.
  18. The Use of Alternative Therapies in Addiction Recovery.
  19. The Role of Naloxone in Preventing Opioid Overdose Deaths.
  20. Understanding the Link Between Social Determinants and Addiction Outcomes.
  21. Addiction Nursing and the Dual Diagnosis Challenge.
  22. Nursing Interventions for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.
  23. The Role of Family Support in Addiction Recovery.
  24. Nurses as Advocates for Policy Changes in Addiction Treatment.
  25. The Influence of Peer Support in Addiction Recovery.
  26. Addiction Nursing in Correctional Facilities: Challenges and Opportunities.
  27. Medication Reconciliation in Dual Diagnosis Patients.
  28. Addiction Nursing’s Response to the Methamphetamine Crisis.
  29. The Opioid Crisis: Lessons Learned and Future Directions.
  30. Ethics in Addiction Nursing: Balancing Autonomy and Harm Reduction.


In conclusion, addiction nursing is a dynamic field that plays a crucial role in addressing the complex issue of substance use disorders. Nursing students interested in this specialty have many opportunities to explore, from research questions and evidence-based projects to capstone projects and essay topics.

To excel in addiction nursing, staying informed about the latest developments in the field and continuously expanding your knowledge and skills is essential. For students seeking assistance with their academic assignments or research papers, consider seeking support from our writing services specializing in nursing and healthcare topics. These services can provide valuable guidance and resources to help you succeed in your educational journey while also contributing to the advancement of addiction nursing. So, don’t hesitate to explore these resources and take the next steps toward a rewarding career in addiction nursing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is the role of the nurse in managing drug addiction?

Answer: Nurses play a vital role in managing drug addiction by providing holistic care, including assessment, medication administration, counseling, and education, to individuals struggling with substance use disorders. They support patients through withdrawal management, treatment, and recovery.

  1. What is defined as an addiction?

Answer: An addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disorder characterized by compulsive substance use or behavior despite harmful consequences. It often involves physical and psychological dependence on a substance or activity.

  1. What are the three C’s model of addiction?

Answer: The three C’s model of addiction consists of Craving (intense desire for the substance or behavior), Loss of Control (inability to limit or stop use), and Compulsion (engaging in the behavior or using the substance despite negative consequences). These three elements are central to understanding addiction.

  1. What are the 4 pathways of addiction?

Answer: The four pathways of addiction refer to various factors contributing to the development of addictive behaviors. These pathways include Biological (genetic predisposition), Psychological (emotional and psychological factors), Social (environmental influences and peer pressure), and Environmental (availability and access to addictive substances or activities). Understanding these pathways helps in addressing addiction comprehensively.

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