Community Development, Homelessness

New Policy Brief Highlights Barriers to MAT for Those Experiencing Homelessness with Opioid Addiction


The National Health Care for the Homeless Council new policy brief, Medication-Assisted Treatment: Buprenorphine in the HCH Community outlines the growing need to provide effective treatment for opioid use disorder and the challenges to administer Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to individuals who are addicted to opioids. These barriers include the high cost of treatment, lack of insurance, other physical and behavioral health issues, and the cap on the number of patients physicians can treat in a given year.

The brief also provides an overview of the incidence of death due to drug overdose and highlights that individuals experiencing homelessness are at higher risk of opioid overdoses resulting in death than individuals that are stably housed. The administration of Buprenorphine, a drug use to reduce the withdrawal symptoms of opioids and decrease physical dependency, in MAT is highlighted as an effective treatment drug for individuals who are either housed or unstably housed.

The report identifies some strategies and policy recommendations to help increase access to treatment and recovery for individuals addicted to opioids. These include allowing physicians to serve more patients, broadening prescribers’ rights to clinicians that are certified to prescribe Class II, IV, and V CDS drugs and implementing a patient-centered, harm reduction, and integrated care approach while treating individuals that are experiencing homelessness.

Click here to read the brief. 


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