Opioid Use Disorder in New York State: Can the Mental Health System Help Close the Medication Treatment Gap?

January 20, 2022 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Event Organizer



Hosted by CHOSEN

QINGXIAN CHEN, New York State Office of Mental Health (NYS OMH)
DR. MOLLY FINNERTY, NYS OMH, New York University Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
DR. TIM HUNT, Columbia School of Social Work

About the Event
Medications for treatment of opioid use disorder (methadone, buprenorphine, extended-release injection naltrexone) promote abstinence, return patients to healthy functioning, and prevent overdose. Yet most people with opioid use disorder are not taking medication treatment, and overdose deaths continue to climb. Access to care is part of the problem, with many communities lacking sufficient prescribers.  Also, many people with opioid use disorder have co-occurring mental health problems which complicate their care.  This symposium will review two major initiatives in New York State to address the opioid treatment gap.

Qingxian Chen will present data on the surprisingly high prevalence of opioid use disorder in the public mental health system in New York State, and correlates of opioid use disorder and overdose among Medicaid-insured individuals with psychiatric diagnoses.

Dr. Molly Finnerty will present on three OMH opioid Initiatives, engaging over 600 programs, which encourage outpatient and emergency services to screen for opioid use disorder, provide opioid education and naloxone distribution (OEND), and either refer patients who screen positive to other medication treatment providers or directly provide buprenorphine and naltrexone.

Dr. Tim Hunt will present on the Healing Communities Study (HCS) in New York State, which is conducting community-level interventions across eight New York State counties to increase availability of treatment. Dr. Hunt will specifically discuss mental health programs within several communities that have engaged in the HCS study around the goal of increasing prescribing of medication for opioid use disorder.

Discussion will focus on lessons learned from these initiatives on the barriers and facilitators to implementing opioid treatment, the potential of engaging mental health providers to treat opioid use disorder, and brainstorming ideas for future research.

This event is hosted by CHOSEN (the Center for Healing of Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders—Intervention Development and Implementation). Learn more here.