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Philly Voice: Encouraging use of buprenorphine in emergency departments improves opioid use disorder care, study finds

From Philly Voice: A program designed by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania to encourage the use of buprenorphine significantly increased its use in emergency departments, a new study finds. Buprenorphine – a drug that can help people overcome opioid addiction – stabilizes withdrawal and reduces cravings. Research has shown that not only does it help people with opioid use disorder stay in treatment, but it also reduces overdose deaths and other associated complications. However, the researchers found that not all doctors authorized to administer the drug did so. Some gave it to 61% of their patients with opioid use disorders, while others didn’t give it to any. “The fact that some physicians in our group were able to provide this evidence-based treatment to more than half of their patients while others had the ability to do so, but never did, showed there was much more work to be done to nudge clinicians and make offering this treatment a default process,” said Dr. M. Kit Delgado, an assistant professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology. Read the full story in Philly Voice.