SAMHSA Publishes Best Practices on Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Treatment Improvement Protocol 63, "Medications for Opioid Use Disorder," reviews the use of methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine, the three FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorders.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has published new guidance to help health care professionals better understand medications that can be used to treat Americans with opioid use disorder (OUD).

Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 63, "Medications for Opioid Use Disorder," reviews the use of methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine, the three FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorders. TIP 63 provides guidance for health care professionals and addiction treatment providers on how to appropriately prescribe these medications and effectively support patients using these medications for OUD treatment.

"We know that people can and do recover from opioid use disorders when they receive appropriate treatment, and medication-assisted treatment's success in treating opioid use disorders is well documented," said Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. "TIP 63 emphasizes that increasing access to medications to treat opioid use disorder will help more people recover, enabling them to improve their health, living full and productive lives."

TIP 63 is part of SAMHSA's larger response to the opioid crisis. More access to treatment with OUD medications is critical to closing the gap between treatment need and treatment availability and an important public health strategy. Data indicate that OUD-treating medications are both cost effective and cost beneficial.

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