Treatment for Members with Substance Use Disorders

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 > “Clinical Resources” > “Clinical Tools and Quality Initiatives.”

Brief and easy-to-administer assessment tools to help screen substance use disorders include:

  • APA DSM5 Level 2 Substance Use Adult
  • APA DSM5 Level 2 Substance Use Parent of Child Ages 6 – 17

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

  • Focus on individualized treatment
  • Build on the individual’s motivations and strengths
  • Engage family and other supports in treatment

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 > “Clinical Resources”, which now contains PsychHub videos and on, > “Mind & Body” > “Substance Use Disorder/Addiction.”


1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); Office of the Surgeon General (US). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet]. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services; 2016 Nov. CHAPTER 1, INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW OF THE REPORT. Available from:
2 National Committee for Quality Assurance (2019). Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) Technical Specifications.
3 US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration