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R3 Report Issue 43: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder

Medications for Opioid Use Disorder

Consequences associated with opioid use, such as overdose, are a serious health care issue in the United States. In 2022, overdose deaths from any opioid occurred at a rate of 28.7 per 100,000 residents across 30 US jurisdictions (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2024). Coupled with the current issues with access to care, the stigma and bias that the general public and some health care professionals have towards individuals with substance use disorder often prevents these individuals from seeking care, even when they recognize that they need it (Abraham, 2020).

Medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) describes a group of medications with strong scientific evidence that shows the medications improve outcomes in treatment of opioid use disorder. These evidence-based medications include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Research has demonstrated that the use of any of these three medications increases the duration of the individual’s engagement with treatment and reduces the use of opioids outside of prescribed treatment.

Given the evidence supporting MOUD as the first-line treatment for individuals served diagnosed with opioid use disorder, The Joint Commission is adding four new requirements for behavioral health care and human services organizations that treat individuals with opioid use disorder to promote the safe use of MOUD. These requirements will be effective August 1, 2024.

Download R3 for Medications for Opioid Use Disorder