May, 2021

  • Drug overdose deaths have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic in the US.
  • Adults 18 years and older, pregnant women, and teens should be routinely screened for opioid use disorder (OUD) or unhealthy drug use.
  • FDA approved medication-assisted treatment (MAT) options include buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. Despite their availability, many providers are reluctant to use buprenorphine or other MAT for OUD.
  • Buprenorphine and methadone maintenance treatments reduce opioidrelated deaths when used for treatment of OUD following an overdose.
  • Educating patients and other providers about MAT options, including differences in drug interactions and dosing, is important to help battle OUD.
  • The FDA has updated naloxone recommendations to expand access to all individuals at risk for OUD; all healthcare professionals should be educated about the recent changes.
  • Naloxone nasal spray is easy to administer and is available in most large chain pharmacies without a prescription.

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