Addiction Treatment Demystified: Proven, Practical Steps for Complex Care

Catherine Mather
R. Corey Waller
June 2018

This resource features a recording of a WIHI audio program from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which featured Better Care Playbook faculty, including R. Corey Waller, MD, and Catherine Mather, MA.

  • People with complex needs are a heterogenous group, but they share a common experience: the current health care system is not meeting their needs.
  • One gap in care is for people who have substance use disorder. These individuals often wind up in emergency departments that lack a standard treatment pathway for substance use disorder.
  • The field of addiction medicine has developed recommendations for a standard pathway for such patients, which includes screening, medication-assisted treatment in the health care setting, and referral to community-based follow-up care.
  • Oftentimes, the barrier to health care systems adopting a standard pathway for substance abuse disorder is the stigma around the disease, rather than an absence of treatment options for patients who suffer from it.
Posted to The Playbook on
Population Addressed
People with Behavioral Health and Social Needs
Key Questions Answered
  • What do we know about people with complex needs, and what do they have in common?
  • How is substance use disorder a driver of complexity?
  • How are people with substance use disorder treated in the health care system, and what can health care do to better meet these patients’ health and social needs?
Level of Evidence
Expert Opinion
What does this mean?