Medications for Addiction Treatment: Providing Best Practice Care in a Primary Care Clinic

Authors
Grace Bell
Shelly Virva
Technical Assistance Tool
September 2019

Medications for addiction treatment (MAT) programs implemented in primary care settings need to go beyond prescribing and dispensing medication to fully address the complex health and social needs of patients. Treating addiction effectively within a primary care setting, however, presents various challenges, including adjustments to working in interprofessional care teams, combatting stigma in clinical culture, and the need to address lifelong trauma histories for many patients.  

This best practice toolkit is designed to support program administration and clinical care teams in primary care settings in establishing effective MAT programs to treat opioid use disorder. It details practical considerations for developing and maintaining a MAT program, information about evidence-based  treatments, key complex care competencies related to MAT, and the importance of data in starting and sustaining a MAT program. The appendix includes an index of valuable resources and tools for providers to use and modify to fit their programs.

See also a related practical play, Implementing a Harm Reduction Approach to Medications for Addiction Treatment in Outpatient Settings, to learn foundational strategies for adopting a primary-care based MAT program.  

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Population Addressed
People with Behavioral Health and Social Needs
Key Questions Answered
  • What are best practices for medications for addiction treatment programs in primary care settings?

  • How can a primary care clinic sustain an effective medications for addiction treatment program?

Level of Evidence
Expert Opinion
What does this mean?