News & Updates Program Brief

New FORE Brief Showcases Ways to Lower Barriers to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

September 28, 2022

A growing body of evidence suggests that medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) are the gold standard of treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Evidence also suggests that keeping people with OUD in treatment is key; one study found those who received MOUD for 15 months to 18 months had better outcomes than those treated for shorter periods. Yet stigma, lack of trained and willing providers, high out-of-pocket costs, and burdensome requirements keep many people from starting or staying in treatment.

A new issue brief describes how three organizations are leveraging FORE grants to lower these barriers by bringing services to patients, removing requirements (such as having to participate in counseling or have clean drug screens), using empathy to build rapport, and/or addressing the social circumstances that hinder people from staying in treatment.

“When people are ready for treatment, we need to remove all barriers that stand in their way,” says Ken Shatzkes, Ph.D., program director at FORE. “Treatment needs to be frictionless from the point of view of patients as well as practical for providers.”