The Blueprint for Successful Opioid Use Disorder Intervention
Championing medication for opioid use disorder requires cultural change. Regardless of the setting, patients need to be greeted by providers—physicians, medical staff, first responders, or jail staff— who understand opioid use disorder as a disease and offer evidence-based treatment.
Patients receive validated assessment and screening for opioid use disorder in an open and accepting environment.
A health care provider administers or prescribes medication to treat opioid withdrawal and begins the patient’s treatment. If the patient is presenting in withdrawal their initial dose helps reduce the painful physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal and allows for a better tolerated discussion with trained providers about treatment and recovery.
Physicians and members of the care team connect the patient to a peer recovery coach or social worker, who supports them as they make their way to an outpatient provider. This is essential to the success of long-term treatment and sobriety.