This workshop will review the literature in support of medications for opioid use disorder, specifically the life-saving benefits of opioid agonist therapy. It will discuss the risks of overdose and death from abstinence-only approaches to treatment, especially in the setting of the fentanyl epidemic, and the importance of facilitating buprenorphine and methadone access. Through a series of clinical cases, attendees will be able to grapple with complex scenarios and explore how to best support a person struggling with opioid use disorder, including applying principles of harm reduction to provide person-centered care that maximizes access to life saving medications.
The opioid overdose epidemic is continuing to worsen with more than 100,000 deaths in 2021, most of them related to synthetic opioids. Without working together to increase access to life-saving treatments, such as buprenorphine and methadone, and harm reduction tools such as naloxone, we will not be able to impact the epidemic or empower those struggling with opioid use, who are often stigmatized and pushed away by traditional healthcare settings. In this workshop we will not only review the literature for medications for opioid use disorder, but also discuss how to apply principles of harm reduction to often inflexible clinics and programs to better engage patients in care and empower them in their recovery.
(This session will not have a recording available after the conference.)
The views and opinions expressed by the speakers at the conference do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Optum.