Addiction Medicine Specialists Take Part in Federal Grant to Expand Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in California

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Project Aimed at Reducing Opioid Related Overdose Deaths

The California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) has been selected by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to be part of a statewide collaborative project that includes UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, to increase access to addiction treatment, reduce unmet treatment need, and reduce opioid overdose related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment and recovery activities for opioid use disorder (OUD).

CSAM is comprised of over 400 physician members who specialize in addiction medicine and it is a state chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). CSAM will provide training, education, and mentoring to primary care providers as part of this two-year $90 million federal grant that is targeting healthcare in counties and tribal communities that have the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths or where treatment resources are inadequate compared to need. The program is being called the “Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Expansion Project” and it is focused on populations with limited MAT access including rural areas, American Indian and Native Alaskan tribal communities, and providing access to buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid addiction in the privacy of a physician’s office. One part of this project is the selection of 19 treatment programs in counties across the state to receive targeted funding, support for providers, training and other needed resources. CSAM is supporting this part of the project modeled after Vermont’s “Hub and Spoke” system that dramatically increased access to medication assisted treatment (MAT), reduced stigma, and reduced overdose death rates by increasing access to medications used to treat opioid addiction. Vermont now has the highest capacity for treating Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) in the country.

“CSAM is honored to be a coalition partner in this grant and we support the state’s goal of improving access to care for addiction treatment by increasing the number of people receiving treatment by 20,000 over the next two years,” said Jean Marsters, MD, Chair of CSAM’s Committee on Education. “CSAM will help create a foundation for sustainable treatment programs by providing training and mentorship of healthcare providers by addiction medicine specialists, by working to overcome barriers to care, and by updating guidelines that will inform providers on treatment protocols consistent with current State and Federal regulations,” said Marsters.

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Kerry Parker
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California Society of Addiction Medicine - CSAM
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