On January 23, 2020, the National Academies released a report with recommendations to improve opioid and infectious disease treatment in the U.S. This report was informed by consultations of the nation’s leading experts in addiction medicine, infectious disease, and social determinants of health.
The opioid epidemic and increasing rates of infectious diseases such as viral hepatitis, STIs, and HIV are correlated public health concerns that call for integrated efforts to effectively utilize time and resources to address both and get people all of the care they need.
The report identifies 9 barriers that have the most significant effect on integrating opioid use disorder (OUD) and infectious disease interventions. Key barriers identified include:
Among the 11 recommendations for improvement listed in the report are addressing deficiencies in workforce training to equip personnel to effectively engage and treat people with co-occurring OUD and infectious diseases, reducing stigma in clinical settings, and expanding harm reduction services such as syringe service programs.
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The views reflected in this blog are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.