Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar, MD, MPH is a physician certified in family medicine, addiction medicine and preventive medicine (public health). She is an expert in the opioid-related epidemiology, policy, public health intervention, and treatment. Past roles including serving as Medical Director Director of Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore and Medical Director of Behavioral Health at the Chicago Department of Public Health. Elizabeth’s main focus is supporting data-driven decision-making and disseminating evidence-based practice. Elizabeth currently serves as the Director of the Center for Multi-System Solutions to the Opioid Epidemic at American Institutes for Research (AIR). Elizabeth continues to see patients on a part-time basis and provides primary care and addiction treatment services at Heartland Alliance Health, a healthcare for the homeless provider.
Excessive opioid prescribing increases exposure to those drugs and increases their volume in communities. Over-prescribing has been associated with growing rates of opioid use disorder, overdose, and death. Opioid prescription rates are relatively low in Illinois compared to other states; however, prescription rates varies greatly by county, city, and medical practitioner. This article summarizes Illinois opioid prescription data from the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program.
There is a national opioid epidemic and one intervention to help those suffering from an opioid use disorder (OUD) is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT is the use of medications in conjunction with behavioral therapy as part of a long-term treatment regimen. There are three main MAT medications used today—methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Research has shown MAT, in particular the use of methadone or buprenorphine, is considered an evidence-based practice to treat OUD. Studies indicate those in MAT have better outcomes than those who engage in therapy alone. This article provides an overview of MAT with a focus on use with criminal justice populations.