All patients with Opioid Use Disorder should have access to one of three FDA-approved medications (buprenorphine, methadone, XR-naltrexone) as their primary treatment.
Medication assisted treatment should continue for a minimum of one year, without a pre-defined length of treatment, under a long-term medical model.
As detoxification alone for Opioid Use Disorder is an ineffective and potentially dangerous practice, it should not be the choice for most patients. The primary goal should be to stabilize patients on FDA-approved medications.
12-step based approaches are insufficient and dangerous when used to stabilize and treat patients with Opioid Use Disorder. 12 step-based treatment does not protect against overdose and should only be introduced as an option in combination with pharmacological treatment and medical supervision.
Financial and insurance barriers to treatment should be removed to hasten same-day access to evidence-based treatment nationwide.
Columbia University’s Division on Substance Use Disorders to provide technical assistance and training on evidence-based practices across all 50 states to combat the nation’s opioid crisis. Read the press release here.
Stop the Spiral is a call to action to increase awareness of and access to evidence-based medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD). The Hey Charlie video, told from the perspective of a teenager and his family, shows how quickly the use of banned substances in social situations almost seamlessly spirals into an addiction to opiates.