Over 2.5 million Americans have opioid use disorder, but many do not receive treatment.1-3 This module provides a process to identify patients with opioid use disorder, presents evidence for medication assisted treatment with buprenorphine, naltrexone and methadone, and recommends prescribing naloxone to prevent overdose.
Primary care providers play an integral role in identifying patients with OUD. Tools like SBIRT – Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment – provide a framework for beginning conversations to link patients with treatment.5
Treating OUD encompasses behavioral interventions and in many cases medications. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) usually includes either methadone, buprenorphine (both only and combined with naloxone), or naltrexone. All of these options can improve retention in treatment and time without opioid misuse.6 Primary care providers can provide naltrexone and those who obtain a DEA X can prescribe buprenorphine.
People with OUD are at risk for overdose. Prescribe or recommend naloxone to anyone in treatment. It can be obtained without a prescription, using a standing order or other process, directly from the pharmacy.
The content of this website is educational in nature and includes general recommendations only; specific clinical decisions should only be made by a treating physician based on the individual patient’s clinical condition.