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Expanding Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder: Program and Policy Approaches from Outside the Veterans Health Administration.

Priest KC, McCarty D, Lovejoy TI. Expanding Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder: Program and Policy Approaches from Outside the Veterans Health Administration. Journal of general internal medicine. 2020 Dec 1; 35(Suppl 3):886-890.

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Abstract:

To mitigate morbidity and mortality of the drug-related overdose crisis, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) can increase access to treatments that save lives-medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Despite an increasing need, MOUD continues to be underutilized due to multifaceted barriers that exist within broader macro- and microenvironments. To promote MOUD utilization, policymakers and healthcare leaders should (1) identify and implement person-centered MOUD delivery systems (e.g., the Medication First Model, community-informed design); (2) recognize and address MOUD delivery gaps (e.g., the Best-Practice in Oral Opioid Agonist Collaborative); (3) broaden the definition of the MOUD delivery system (e.g., access to MOUD in non-clinical settings); and (4) expand MOUD options (e.g., injectable opioid agonist therapy). Increasing access to MOUD is not a singular fix to the overdose-related crisis. It is, however, a possible first step to mitigate harm, and save lives.





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