To Slow the Opioid Overdose Epidemic, Enable Primary Care Workforce to Use Office-Based Treatment
July 11, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System
Organizing the primary care physician workforce and enabling these physicians and professionals such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners to make office-based treatment (specifically buprenorphine) easily available to patients with opioid use disorder may be the intervention needed to address the opioid crisis in the United States, according to an article published July 5, 2018, in The New England Journal of Medicine. Deaths from opioid overdoses increased by 28% from 2015 to 2016, the authors say, and for the second year in a row, U.S. life expectancy dropped, partly owing to deaths resulting from unintentional injuries, which includes overdoses. One reason overdoses persist is poor access to care, the authors say.