Opioids & Substance Use

As part of AHRQ’s Opioid Initiative, the Academy provides information to support those in primary care settings who are implementing medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. The Academy also supports Primary Care MAT Grantees by offering technical assistance and disseminating resources about MAT in rural primary care practices. Learn more about the Academy’s Opioid & Substance Use Resources.

The items below highlight recent news, resources, and publications about opioid use disorder and MAT.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Opioid Initiative

Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Report (PDF—5.71 MB)

This report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inter-Agency Task Force highlights the importance of individualized, patient-centered care for the diagnosis and treatment of pain.

Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts

This data visualization from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides provisional counts for drug overdose deaths in the United States through January 2019.

2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Report and Data Findings

These reports and tables from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) present data estimates from the 2018 NSDUH.

CMCS Informational Bulletin (PDF—141 KB)

This informational bulletin from the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provides guidance on the availability of extensions of the Enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage period for health homes for individuals with substance use disorders.

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program

This program from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) aims to increase access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services for opioid use disorder in underserved rural areas.

Growing Consensus on Rural Opioids

This news item from HRSA describes a grantee meeting at which HRSA Administrator Dr. George Sigounas pledged the Agency’s continued support for rural communities affected by the opioid crisis.

Opioids Strain Health Workforce

This news item from HRSA describes how the opioid epidemic is exacerbating provider burnout and health workforce shortages in rural areas.

Psychosocial Supports in Medication-Assisted Treatment: Site Visit Findings and Conclusions

This report from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation describes innovative models of psychosocial supports in MAT for opioid use disorder. It is accompanied by a report on current practices in psychosocial supports and an issue brief.

Tips for Teens: Opioids

This fact sheet from SAMHSA provides facts about opioids to youth and adolescents, including the effects and signs of opioid use.

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Heroin

This fact sheet from SAMHSA provides facts about heroin to youth and adolescents, including the effects and signs of heroin use.

Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Criminal Justice Settings

This guide from SAMHSA describes policies and evidence-based practices for using MAT for opioid use disorder in jails and prisons, as well as upon reentry into the community.

MAT Inside Correctional Facilities: Addressing Medication Diversion

This brief from SAMHSA describes strategies and techniques to reduce diversion of MAT medications in criminal justice settings.

Medication-Assisted Treatment in the Criminal Justice System: Brief Guidance to the States

This brief from SAMHSA offers guidance to States on how to increase the availability of MAT in criminal justice settings.


Tools & Resources

How Community Health Centers are Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

This case study from the Milbank Memorial Fund emphasizes the importance of providing MAT in primary care and explores the prevalence of adolescents’ misuse of a family member’s prescription opioids.

The Addiction Treatment Provider Quality Assurance Guidebook

This guide from the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers provides an implementation strategy for core competencies of substance use treatment program operations.

2019 Recommendations of the American Medical Association Opioid Task Force (PDF—353 KB)

This brief from the American Medical Association Opioid Task Force describes six recommendations for physicians to help reverse the Nation’s opioid epidemic.

The Ripple Effect: The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on Children and Families

This report from the United Hospital Fund and the Milbank Memorial Fund describes the short- and long-term effects of loss and trauma experienced by children and adolescents whose family members are addicted to opioids.


Research Findings

The Impact of Expanded Medicaid Eligibility on Access to Naloxone

This study from Addiction describes changes in the amount of Medicaid-covered naloxone dispensed from 2009 to 2016, including the differential changes between the amount in Medicaid expansion States and nonexpansion States.

Prenatal Risk Factors and Perinatal and Postnatal Outcomes Associated With Maternal Opioid Exposure in an Urban, Low-Income, Multiethnic U.S. Population

This study from JAMA Network Open reports that in utero opioid exposure was associated with short- and long-term outcomes across developmental stages.

Behavioral Health Treatment Utilization Among Individuals With Co-occurring Opioid Use Disorder and Mental Illness: Evidence From a National Survey

This study in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment analyzes the utilization of behavioral health treatment among individuals with opioid use disorder, finding that a high percentage (47%) of individuals with opioid use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders did not receive the treatment they needed.

Effect of Integrating Substance Use Disorder Treatment Into Primary Care on Inpatient and Emergency Department Utilization 

This study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine concludes that integrated pharmacotherapy to treat substance use disorders and recovery coaching led to fewer hospital bed days and emergency department visits than among patients seen in primary care practices without substance use disorder treatment services.


Events

Visit the events calendar to find webinars, conferences, and workshops related to opioid use disorder and substance use.


News

State Variation in Medicaid Prescriptions for Opioid Use Disorder From 2011 to 2018

This brief from the Urban Institute examines Medicaid State drug utilization data to assess the use of buprenorphine maintenance treatment in Medicaid patients.

Novel Formulations of Buprenorphine for Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder

This article in Psychiatry Online presents findings on the efficacy of two subcutaneous depot buprenorphine formulations and a long-acting implant.

America's Opioid Epidemic

This podcast from NPR describes the long-standing history of the opioid epidemic in the United States.

No Shortcuts to Safer Opioid Prescribing

This perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine argues there is a need for better evidence to evaluate the harms and benefits of clinical decision making for opioid prescribing.

At the Front Lines in Tennessee: Rural Clinic Offers Trauma-Informed Treatment for Substance Use Disorder

This blog from the Center for Health Care Strategies describes the work of one practice in implementing a trauma-informed approach to care for patients with substance use disorders.

Championing Treatment for Substance Use Disorder in Primary Care: A Q&A With New Jersey Providers

This blog from the Center for Health Care Strategies offers insight into the benefits and challenges associated with providing medication-assisted treatment in primary care settings in New Jersey.

Understanding Links Among Opioid Use, Overdose, and Suicide

This article in the New England Journal of Medicine describes the relationship between opioid-related overdoses and suicide, highlighting shared risk factors and prevention approaches.


Archive

Explore the archived opioids and substance use news and resources: