Category: Drugs

Expanding opioid agonist therapy while learning from HIV/AIDS

This post elaborates on the ideas from a recent freely-available commentary published in the journal Addiction.

Accessing opioid agonist therapy (OAT) and maintaining good adherence faces many barriers which can be geographical, financial, regulatory, situational or logistic. In some settings, lack of services hinders access to treatment for people living with opioid use disorder (OUD). In other settings—even where health‐care and medications are provided free of charge—many people who have OUD do not seek OAT. In the United States, recent ‘estimates suggest a gap between treatment need and capacity of 1.4 and 1.3 million in 2012, respectively’ [4]. The ongoing epidemic of OUD needs to develop strategies to recruit and keep patients on OAT.

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Hospital based opioid agonist treatment

Researchers recently found that many people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders are admitted to inpatient psychiatric units. According to a 2019 report from the Boston’s Institute for Healthcare Improvement and The Grayken Center, “hospitals have the opportunity to make a major impact in reducing morbidity and mortality related to opioid use.” The present study, therefore, looked at patients admitted to an acute care hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia. It sought to improve our understanding of this population and the care provided so that we can improve patients’ outcomes and care experiences.

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