Substance Use Tools & Resources Guide

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The AHRQ Academy developed the Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Tools & Resources Collection to highlight and describe tools and resources available for those who offer or use MAT services. Implementation tools and resources were initially identified during the development of Implementing Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Rural Primary Care: Environmental Scan, Volume 2: Tools and Resources. We conducted methodical searches of the published and grey literature, as well as targeted searches for specific kinds of tools. Although the tools were not all created specifically for rural primary care practices, they are potentially useful in those and other care settings. Items have been continuously added to this collection since then, and the collection has expanded to cover substance use more broadly, rather than just MAT for OUD.

These tools and resources come from a variety of public and private sources, such as government entities, professional societies, coalitions or consortiums, academic institutions, medical professionals, and other addiction-related organizations.

The tools can be filtered and sorted by several factors including use, topic, format, audience, and terms of use.

All tools and resources are categorized according to their broad use:

  • Opioid Use Disorder Awareness and Education—includes tools and resources to increase awareness of and knowledge about the opioid crisis and MAT for OUD.
  • Prevention of Opioid Use Disorder—tools for assessing and managing pain and prescribing opioids.
  • Training and Education About MAT—training opportunities and educational materials about MAT for multiple audiences.
  • Implementation of MAT in Ambulatory Care—tools that may be useful to providers and other staff when implementing MAT in office-based settings.
  • Overdose—tools related to both the prevention of and response to overdose, as any patient receiving MAT is at risk of overdose if use recurs.

Users can further filter the tools and resources based on one or more of the following specific topics:

  • Adherence, Diversion, & Misuse—those for the prevention of and response to diversion (i.e. selling or sharing of medications) or misuse (i.e. taking medication in a manner other than prescribed) of medications to treat opioid use disorder.
  • Adolescents—those developed for or that offer specific considerations for the screening and treatment of adolescents and substance use disorders.
  • Assessing & Managing Pain—those related to the management and treatment of chronic, non-cancer pain.
  • Clinical Guidelines—those that offer evidence-based recommendations for clinicians about the care of patients.
  • Co-Occurring Behavioral Health Disorders—those related to the screening and treatment of common comorbid mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Co-Occurring Medical Conditions—those related to the screening and treatment of common comorbid medical conditions, such as risk for infectious disease.
  • COVID-19—those that are specifically related to the COVID-19 Pandemic and/or impacts thereof.
  • Emergency Departments—those that are specifically developed for emergency department settings.
  • Health Information Technology & Telehealth—those related to information sharing, electronic health records, health information technology, and the use of telehealth methods for MAT services.
  • Intake & Induction—those for the patient’s admittance to the MAT program and initiation of medications to treat opioid use disorder.
  • Medication Considerations—those that provide information or materials on the three medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid use disorder.
  • Organizational Readiness—those that can assess and promote organizational readiness to implement MAT services by gaining staff, patient, and community buy-in.
  • Patient Engagement—those that can improve patient engagement, including those that promote patient activation, motivation, cultural competency, health literacy, and communication.
  • Payment & Reimbursement—those related to financial sustainability, financing policy, and reimbursement for MAT services.
  • Polysubstance Use—those that refer to the co-occurring or simultaneous use of multiple substances.
  • Pregnant/Post-Partum Women & Their Infants—those that are developed for or offer specific considerations for the care of pregnant or post-partum women and their infants.
  • Prescribing Opioids—those that promote the safe, effective use of prescription opioids.
  • Program Policies & Procedures—sample policies and procedures of MAT programs.
  • Psychosocial Supports—those for counseling, peer support, recovery coaching, self-help groups, and recovery supports that address the social determinants of health.
  • Regulations & Recordkeeping—those that facilitate compliance with relevant laws, rules, and regulations of substance use disorder treatment and MAT services, including those from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
  • Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)—those that help with the implementation of an SBIRT approach.
  • Screening for Substance Use Disorders/Opioid Use Disorder—those that identify patients with or at risk for opioid use disorders or other substance use disorders across a variety of settings and patient populations.
  • Social Determinants of Health—those related to the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.
  • Stabilization & Maintenance—those related to the stabilization and maintenance phases of treatment for opioid use disorder, during which patients have significantly decreased or discontinued use of opioids.
  • Stigma—those that address and seek to change stigmatizing attitudes towards substance use disorders and MAT services among patients, providers, other staff, community members, and policymakers.
  • Stimulant Use Disorders—those related to a substance use disorder involving any of the class of drugs that include cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription stimulants.
  • Terminating Opioid Therapy—those for providers transitioning patients from opioid therapy to alternative treatment plans.
  • Withdrawal from Opioids—those that provide information about the assessment and management of a patient’s withdrawal from opioids.

Each tool or resource is further categorized by its format, or the way in which the information is packaged. An icon appears next to each tool’s entry in the collection to quickly identify its format. The format options within the collection include:

  • Fact Sheet/Brochure
  • Guide
  • Instrument/Protocol
  • Digital Therapeutics
  • Patient Form
  • Report/Paper/Issue Brief
  • Toolkit
  • Campaign
  • Curriculum
  • In-Person Training
  • Web-Based Course
  • Webinar/Video
  • Web Page
  • Advisory
  • Other

The tools and resources within the collection may be created for or useful to a variety of audiences and stakeholders, including:

  • Medical Providers
  • Behavioral Health Providers
  • Other Team Members
  • Patients
  • Families
  • Children
  • Communities
  • Schools
  • Policymakers and Payers
  • States
  • Graduate Education
  • First Responders

While many of the tools are in the public domain, some may require purchase or permission to use. Each tool is also categorized by access and terms of use, as follows:

  • Public domain—tools are available for public use without current copyright or licensing restrictions, primarily published by Federal, State, or local governments.
  • Copyrighted, freely available—tools are accessible without purchase but may be subject to restrictions for use and distribution.
  • May require fee or membership—tools are exclusively owned or rights are held by an individual or organization and may require purchase, membership, or an account to access.