Using Telemedicine to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

By September 18, 2018Recent Telehealth News

Article Author: ADM Brett P. Giroir

Source: Health IT Buzz

Combatting the opioid crisis is a top priority for the Trump Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  We are making progress. Just last week we released the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)data, which showed significantly more people received treatment for substance use disorder in 2017 than in 2016; this was especially true for those with heroin-related opioid use disorders.  In addition, the number of people who initiated use of heroin in 2017 was less than half of the number in 2016.

While these are promising data, we know there is still much more work to be done, especially in rural areas that have been hard hit by the opioid epidemic.  This is particularly true in some rural and remote areas of the country where patients with opioid use disorder (OUD must travel long distances to receive treatment; and there are too few clinicians available to provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT)- an essential component in the treatment of OUD.

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