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Opioid use treatment options under prescribed, according to new research

Flickr User: David Kessler /

In 2015, 1,980 opioid overdose deaths occurred in Michigan, according to the CDC.


Now new research out of John Hopkins University suggests treatment options for opioid addiction are being under prescribed by physicians.




The study was presented at the Annual American Psychological Association Convention.


Dr. Andrew Huhn, who conducted the survey, spoke with over 500 physicians around the country.


“Some of the big reasons were related to the business model of medicine essentially. Physicians feeling like they don't have time to see more patients or the reimbursement rates were insufficient for doing these treatments. And also some negative attitudes toward buprenorphinetreatment itself, they don't want to be inundated with requests, so basically they don't want to be known as the doctor treating Opioid Use Disorder.”


Dr. Huhn said physicians have to obtain a waiver or be an authorized clinic to prescribe Opioid Use Disorder medication. The physicians he interviewed said they would like to see more services available for patients.


“A lot of physicians are telling us they want increased access to counseling services so they want to be connected to local counselors and offer a more comprehensive treatment plan for their patients that have Opioid Use Disorder. Another thing was physicians who don't have the waiver, so they're not really experienced in treating OUD, they want to be paired up with experienced providers.”  


Dr. Huhn said eliminating the stigma around Opioid Use Disorders would help physicians feel more comfortable taking on new patients and creating treatment plans.


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