To mitigate morbidity and mortality of the drug-related overdose crisis, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) can increase access to treatments that save lives—medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Despite an increasing need, MOUD continues to be underutilized due to multifaceted barriers that exist within broader macro- and microenvironments. To promote MOUD utilization, policymakers and healthcare leaders should (1) identify and implement person-centered MOUD delivery systems (e.g., the Medication First Model, community-informed design); (2) recognize and address MOUD delivery gaps (e.g., the Best-Practice in Oral Opioid Agonist Collaborative); (3) broaden the definition of the MOUD delivery system (e.g., access to MOUD in non-clinical settings); and (4) expand MOUD options (e.g., injectable opioid agonist therapy). Increasing access to MOUD is not a singular fix to the overdose-related crisis. It is, however, a possible first step to mitigate harm, and save lives.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine