5 best practices for hospital EDs addressing addiction

The Addiction Policy Forum released a hospital toolkit May 16 to educate emergency medicine providers, patients, families and policymakers on how to respond to the opioid crisis.

The toolkit consists of videos, infographics and other resources that focus on fighting stigmas about addiction using evidence-based best practices.

Here are five best practices for hospital emergency departments:

1. Screening. Triage nurses can screen patients for substance use disorder using the SBIRT protocol: screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment.

2. Connection. If patients screen positive for substance use disorder, hospital staff can connect patients with a nurse, case manager, social worker or peer recovery coach to receive treatment and support services.

3. Initiate treatment. For eligible patients, hospital staff can begin medication-assisted therapy.

4. Warm handoff. Providers can refer patients to substance use disorder treatment and assist them with going to their first appointment.

5. Naloxone. For all patients who screen positive for opioid use disorder, hospital staff can provide a naloxone kit and information on preventing and reversing overdoses.

To view the toolkit materials, click here.

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