Opioid Agonist Therapy Underused, Data Suggest

published on December 22, 2023 by Kate Johnson in Medscape

Few patients with opioid toxicity receive opioid agonist therapy (OAT), data suggest.

In a retrospective study that examined about 21,000 hospital visits related to opioid use disorder (OUD) in Ontario, Canada, 4.1% resulted in community-based initiation of OAT within 7 days of discharge.

“From what I have seen as a physician, I suspected that OAT initiation rates would be low. However, I did not think that it would be so low,” study author Tina Hu, MD, family physician and assistant professor of family and community medicine at the University of Toronto, told Medscape Medical News. “OAT is a proven and effective treatment for OUD, reducing both morbidity and mortality. In the midst of a public health crisis…. [I]t is inconceivable to me that we are not using every healthcare encounter as an opportunity to discuss OAT with patients with OUD and initiate life-saving treatment.”

The findings were published on December 18, 2023, in CMAJ…

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