Substance use disorders are a national problem. Providing treatment for individuals with substance use disorders helps decrease drug-related illnesses and deaths and reduces the economic and social costs associated with substance use.1 The first step is to properly identify a substance use disorder. Screening tools can be accessed at www.providerexpress.com > “Clinical Resources” > “Clinical Tools and Quality Initiatives.”
Brief and easy-to-administer assessment tools to help screen substance use disorders include:
After diagnosis, it is important to get treatment right away. Individuals who are newly diagnosed should be seen for follow-up within 14 days and then again two more times within 34 days.2
The COVID-19 national public emergency has created unprecedented changes to virtually every part of the health care system and most people’s lives. Those with Opioid Use Disorders (OUD) are a particularly vulnerable group. To assist with treatment opportunities, the Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) is allowing licensed providers to prescribe Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) through telehealth without requiring in-person clinical visits and waiving the requirement for video.3 To help avoid adverse events and deaths related to opioids, please reach out to your patients. We want to help make a difference; however, we can’t do it alone. We need your help to keep our plan members safe.
Additional information on SUD and patient resources are available on the Behavioral Health for Medical Providers on providerexpress.com > “Clinical Resources”, which now contains PsychHub videos and on liveandworkwell.com, > “Mind & Body” > “Substance Use Disorder/Addiction.”