Oklahoma is among the states hardest hit by a combination of national trends in nonmedical uses of opioid prescription drugs, past-year heroin use, and opioid-related mortality. As a rural state, Oklahoma is challenged to identify and reach persons with unmet treatment needs despite ongoing state efforts to improve access to substance abuse treatment services, promote awareness of the opioid epidemic and foster safe prescribing of opioid prescription drugs. In response AIR is developing, implementing, and testing an intervention to support primary care providers in four regions of rural Oklahoma to adopt medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as an evidence-based strategy for treating persons with opioid use disorder. The work is funded by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The project is addressing crucial access gaps by engaging physicians and practices. Specific approaches include creating and implementing a comprehensive MAT delivery model in Oklahoma primary care settings through intensive provider training in the fundamentals of addiction medicine, practice facilitation, opportunities for case-based learning, and access to physician experts for tailored consultation. AIR will evaluate the effectiveness of these supports in overcoming known barriers to physician adoption of MAT, and of the intervention in increasing local access to needed pharmacologic and psychosocial services.