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Breaking Barriers: Bridging the Gap Between Emergency Care and Opioid Addiction Treatment

In a groundbreaking study published by the Public Health Institute’s CA Bridge and partners, the pivotal role of emergency departments (EDs) in combating opioid use disorder (OUD) has come to light. The research, featured in JAMA Network Open, reveals that initiating treatment with buprenorphine, a medication for addiction treatment, within the ED can significantly enhance the likelihood of patients continuing with OUD treatment post-discharge. Among the study’s key findings was the high acceptance rate of buprenorphine treatment among patients, with an overwhelming 86% of participants with confirmed OUD opting for this form of medication-assisted treatment within the ED setting. Furthermore, those who received buprenorphine in the ED were nearly twice as likely to remain engaged in OUD treatment 30 days post-discharge compared to those who did not receive such treatment, demonstrating the critical role of EDs as access points for life-saving addiction treatment and follow-up care.

This study underscores the urgent need for innovative interventions to address the escalating rates of overdose deaths, which have surged past 100,000 annually in the US. By breaking down barriers to treatment and providing evidence-based care, EDs are emerging as vital pillars of support in the fight against opioid addiction, offering hope and healing to those in need.

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Fax: 605-340-6276

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