“On January 25, The Pew Charitable Trusts convened public health officials from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and New York as well as providers from three Philadelphia care settings to share their insights and experiences related to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder.
More than 47,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses in 2017, and virtually no community has been spared from this public health crisis. Philadelphia alone recorded 1,217 accidental drug deaths that year—88 percent of which involved opioids.
In response, many communities are striving to make effective treatments more accessible. MAT, which combines Food and Drug Administration-approved medications with behavioral therapies, is considered the gold standard of care, as it is the most effective intervention to treat opioid use disorder (OUD).
As the speakers at the Jan. 25 event in Philadelphia discussed the current policy and treatment landscapes, and what they need to increase MAT access in their cities, three key takeaways emerged:”
- Integrated, coordinated treatment for OUD is essential
- Stigma associated with MAT may keep people from accessing evidence-based treatment
- Access to FDA-approved medications is a public health imperative
Source: PewTrusts.org – February 6, 2019