The Importance of Integrated Care in Fighting Opioid Use Disorder

The following is an excerpt from an article appearing in the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC)

One out of four patients who receive long-term opioid therapy in primary care settings struggle with opioid use disorder (OUD), according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research. While conversations around opioid addiction are beginning to impact physician prescribing patterns, there is still much progress to be made around treatment and recovery solutions for those battling OUD.

One important option that requires greater attention: the need to leverage an integrated team approach in opioid treatment and recovery.

Recent research points to the value of a holistic approach to opioid recovery delivered in a community setting. Such an approach may include relapse prevention medications; group and individual counseling; physician visits for medication management; mental health therapy; and psychiatric treatment for cooccurring disorders. But there are barriers to accessing holistic opioid recovery treatment within the patient’s community. Such barriers can include lack of mental health resources, stigmas associated with certain treatment options, limited availability of specialized providers, difficulties navigating the complexities of substance abuse treatment, and insufficient capacity.

Overcoming the challenges to a holistic approach to opioid recovery is critical to engaging patients safely and comfortably and supporting sustained recovery. The following five elements contribute to a successful integrated approach.

You can read the rest of the article in the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC).

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