The American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates hosted a Special Meeting this month to expand on, and amend, AMA policies concerning justice-involved individuals with substance use disorders. Several policies were altered to make access to quality, evidence-based care more effective and inclusive to all individuals in jails and prisons, as well as those in re-entry programs. Follow the list of the AMA’s policy modifications, reflecting the importance of team-based treatment, counseling, education, and funding for those experiencing substance use disorders within United States’ justice systems.
An article published by Pew Charitable Trusts informs individuals of the purpose for syringe services programs (SSPs) through a multifaceted analysis of trends in public health. The article accentuates the need for SSPs, as such programs advocate for harm reduction strategies, reduce stigmatization, and incentivize individuals experiencing substance use disorders to reach out for supportive treatment. Pew’s article investigates the toxicity of misinformation and stigmatization: State legislatures fail to correlate increasing rates of infectious diseases and overdoses with unsterile syringe practices, especially as access to prescribed opioids becomes more restrictive and illicit opioids become more prevalent. The article is a great source for policymakers to understand the merit and necessity of SSPs operations, including how these programs are safely and effectively established.
Jeffrey A. Singer’s article, published by CATO Institute, reveals recent evidence of the reluctance of lawmakers to adhere to the science behind medication-based treatment for opioid use disorder (MOUD) across the country, correlating to rises in overdose death rates. This article is a critique on codified barriers implemented by policymakers, from restrictions in dosing within Medicare and Medicaid to the perpetuation of stigma that coincides with substance use disorders as a byproduct of refuting science. Singer’s critique is exposing a need for policymakers to face the facts, trust the science, and advocate for our communities.
In this article from Boston Medical Center’s HealthCity newsletter, OBAT TTA+’s Colleen LaBelle, MSN, RN-BC, CARN, discusses the BMC MAT Quick Start app and highlights how this tool can help providers feel better equipped to care for patients with substance use disorder.
This article from MedCity News, which discusses various efforts by SUD providers to continue providing and addressing barriers to treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, quotes Andrea Caputo, DNP FNP-BC, CARN-AP, and Annie Potter, MSN, MPH, NP, CARN-AP, two of OBAT TTA+’s Clinical Nurse Educators.
Victoria, a former Nurse Care Manager in the OBAT clinic and current psychiatric nurse practitioner in BMC’s Addiction and Behavioral Outpatient Recovery (ABOVE) program, was recently selected as a Recognizing and Eliminating Disparities in Addiction through Culturally-informed Healthcare (REACH) Scholar for the 2021-2022 cohort.
Based in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, this one-year fellowship aims to increase the overall number of racial and ethnic underrepresented minority addiction specialists in the Addiction Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine workforce and to increase the number of addiction specialists adequately trained to work with racial and ethnic minority patients with substance use disorders. Victoria’s work with the REACH program will specifically focus on utilizing faith-based community interventions to engage racial and ethnic minority patients in addiction care.
More information about the REACH training program is available here. Please join us in congratulating Victoria on this exciting fellowship!
This article from mHealth Intelligence discusses our BMC MAT Quick Start App and how using technology and innovative approaches like this app can expand access to and improve the quality of evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder using medications.
BMC OBAT TTA+ is thrilled to announce the release of a mobile application to support clinicians providing evidence-based treatment to patients with opioid use disorder. The BMC MAT Quick Start App is now available to download, free of charge, for both Apple and Android devices. A web-based version of this application is also available on our website.
The app utilizes interactive clinical algorithms to walk clinicians through each step of the medication initiation process and pain management recommendations for patients with OUD. These algorithms are also available to download on our website under “Resources”.
The app does not replace clinical decision-making and is meant to help inform clinicians regarding the use of medications for opioid use disorder. Resources to learn more, including practice guidelines, patient handouts, and links to external organizations are also available through the app.
We would like to applaud our team members, Annie Potter, MSN, MPH, NP, CARN-AP; Andrea Caputo, DNP, FNP-BC, CARN-AP; and Shereen Sodder, BA, for leading this exciting initiative.
The OBAT TTA team has released our final three videos in this series which aims to provide clinical care teams with education on current issues in the field of addiction treatment. These videos cover ethical dilemmas in inpatient treatment of substance use disorder, written by Zoe Weinstein, MD, MSc; medications for alcohol use disorder, written by Richard Saitz, MD, MPH; and bacterial infections in patients with substance use disorders, written by Simeon Kimmel, MD, MA.
This video series was spearheaded by Alicia Ventura, MPH, OBAT TTA’s Director of Research and Special Projects, and produced by 1623 Studios out of Gloucester, MA. The entire video series can be found on our website here: https://www.bmcobat.org/resources/videos.php?category=8.
We hope you and your teams have enjoyed these short informational videos and have found them helpful to your practice. Stay tuned for more exciting projects like this from the OBAT TTA team!
OBAT TTA is a program of Boston Medical Center (BMC), a 514-bed academic medical center located in Boston's historic South End and the largest safety-net hospital in New England.