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Addressing Workforce Needs for Medication Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder

Thomas, Cindy Parks, PhD

doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000442

Medication treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) is recognized as an effective evidence-based treatment. It has been underused, in part due to challenges in recruiting and retaining a provider workforce that is able to prescribe and manage patients treated with OUD medications. A national goal should be: anyone with an OUD must have adequate access to a range of medications for treatment and support, provided in high-quality settings, and all programs receiving public or private funding should be so equipped. To accomplish this, it is important to understand what recruitment efforts are most successful, and what implementation strategies and service models are most effective. Building an adequate OUD treatment workforce, however, will require a system with adequate program resources and incentives, clinician and patient education to reduce stigma, limited regulatory burden, and adequate reimbursement and support high-quality services.

Brandeis University Heller Graduate School for Social Policy and Management, Waltham, MA.

Send correspondence to Cindy Parks Thomas, PhD, Brandeis University Heller Graduate School for Social Policy and Management, 415 South Street MS 035, Waltham, MA 02454. E-mail:

Received 15 June, 2018

Accepted 17 June, 2018

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2019 American Society of Addiction Medicine