Although drug overdose deaths continue to climb at alarming rates across the United States, most people with substance use disorder (SUD) receive little, if any, treatment. People with SUD frequently experience obstacles to care, with certain communities of color far more likely to be affected by treatment barriers. States can confront the substance use and overdose crisis by maximizing available public funding to increase access to evidence-based SUD services and address inequities.
This Principles-in-Action series offers practical guidance to inform state investments in three key evidence-based SUD interventions: peer supports, medications for opioid use treatment, and harm reduction services. The checklist format details concrete steps to support state policy development aimed at enhancing SUD treatment systems with a focus on sustainability and equity.
The series draws from State Principles for Financing Substance Use Care, Treatment, and Support Services, a report developed by the Center for Health Care Strategies through a partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts and support from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
- Expanding Access to Peer Supports for People with Substance Use Disorder – Evidence shows that peer support services address the needs of people with SUD and help improve outcomes, including decreases in emergency department visits for certain patients.
- Expanding Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder – One critical way to address the overdose epidemic is to increase access to medications for opioid use disorder — safe, effective medications that can save lives and lower the overdose death rate.
- Expanding Access to Harm Reduction Services for People with Substance Use Disorder – Harm reduction services, such as needle-exchange, support decreases in drug use and infectious disease among people with SUD, as well as increase entry into substance use treatment programs.