• AHRQ Offers New and Updated Behavioral Health Resources

    Free Materials Help Family Physicians Care for Patients With SUDs, OUD

    June 2, 2022, 9:40 a.m. News Staff — The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Academy for Integrating Behavioral Health & Primary Care has published new guidance on stimulant use disorders (i.e., substance use disorders that involve cocaine, methamphetamine and other amphetamine-type stimulants) and behavioral health integration, and has updated a collection of guides and issue briefs on medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Family physicians and other primary care clinicians can use the free resources to assist with screening, assessment, treatment, management and continuity of care.

    Female physician consulting patient

    Resources at a Glance

    The guidance document on stimulant use disorders and BHI defines stimulant use disorders as substance use disorders that involve cocaine, methamphetamine and other amphetamine-type stimulants such as MDMA or prescription stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin. It features sections on the adverse effects of stimulants, background information on stimulant use and overdose deaths, and the role integrated behavioral healthcare can play in addressing stimulant use in the primary care setting.

    The guidance document also includes information on pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical treatment options; factors for primary care clinicians to consider when providing care for patients with stimulant use disorders; links to clinical guidelines, screening tools, treatment manuals, educational materials and patient support groups; and a linked list of 90 reference publications.

    The MAT for OUD collection, meanwhile, consists of more than 500 internal and external resources for clinicians, staff and patients who provide or use MAT services. The most recent additions to the collection are:

    • “Helping People Who Use Opioids and Stimulants” a brief from the University of Washington Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute a brief that details the challenges posed by stimulant use in individuals who use opioids and discusses patient-centered approaches for those enrolled in medication-assisted treatment for OUD;
    • “Opioids and Stimulants: What Are They and How Are People Using Them?,” also from the University of Washington Addictions, Drugs & Alcohol Institute, that reviews trends in opioid and stimulant availability and use, compares the effects of opioids and stimulants, and examines the factors that contribute to co-use of these substances; and
    • Treatment of Stimulant Use Disorders, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration guide that reviews best practices, identifies existing knowledge gaps and provides additional treatment resources.

    About the AHRQ Academy

    The Academy for Integrating Behavioral Health & Primary Care was created in 2010 as a national resource and coordinating center for integrating primary care and behavioral health. While its purpose is to “expand the integration of behavioral health care and primary care” to achieve what is often referred to as the triple aim of improving the individual experience of care, improving the health of populations and reducing per capita costs of health care, it also actively works toward a fourth aim: improving the work life of health care professionals, including clinicians and staff.