Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar is a physician certified in family medicine, addiction medicine and preventive medicine (public health). She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Medical Degree at Rush University in Chicago, and Masters in Public Health at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. While in Baltimore, Elizabeth held the role of Medical Director of Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore- a quasi-public entity that oversees all publicly funded addiction and mental health treatment. In this role, she oversaw the Baltimore City Overdose Prevention Plan. Elizabeth came back to Chicago in 2014 and served as Medical Director at Heartland Health Outreach (HHO), the healthcare for the homeless provider in Chicago. While at HHO, she helped expand their addiction treatment services and develop a medication assisted treatment program. Elizabeth is currently the Medical Director of Behavioral Health for the Chicago Department of Public Health where she contributes to the Health Department’s work in mental health, substance use prevention and treatment, and violence prevention.
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.