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Our mission is to advocate for healthcare integration of the Medication First principles.

Our vision is a society in which people with opioid use disorder have universal access to buprenorphine and methadone.

The Medication First (or low-threshold) approach to Opioid Use Disorders is based on a broad scientific consensus that:

  • The epidemic of fatal accidental poisoning (overdose) is one of the most urgent public health crisis in our lifetimes.

  • Increasing access to buprenorphine and methadone maintenance is an essential strategy for preventing opioid-related deaths.

  • Universal access to OUD medications will be achieved in part by expanding the number of buprenorphine providers in traditional and non-traditional treatment settings, including primary care and office-based mental health clinics, and by integrating buprenorphine and methadone induction and referral throughout the healthcare system.

In traditional treatment programs for addiction, the majority of patients are offered no ongoing medical treatment. The minority who do receive medical care typically face intensive psychosocial service requirements that make access to medical treatment both burdensome and costly.

Medication First attempts to get persons with Opioid Use Disorder maintenance medical treatment as quickly as possible and provides voluntary supportive services as needed. This approach prioritizes client choice in both service selection and service participation.

Medication First is consistent with the World Health Organization's recommendations for the effective treatment of Opioid Use Disorders (2011):

Psychosocial services should be made available to all patients, although those who do not take up the offer should not be denied effective pharmacological treatment.

Medication First is also consistent with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration's working definition of recovery which prioritizes the self-determination of persons recovering from mental illness and substance use disorders:

Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.

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