A Dissemination and Implementation Science Approach to the Epidemic of Opioid Use Disorder in the United States

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Purpose of Review: This review aims to (1) conceptualize the complexity of the opioid use disorder epidemic using a conceptual model grounded in the disease continuum and corresponding levels of prevention and (2) summarize a select set of interventions for the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder.

Recent Findings: Epidemiologic data indicate non-medical prescription and illicit opioid use have reached unprecedented levels, fueling an opioid use disorder epidemic in the USA. A problem of this magnitude is rooted in multiple supply- and demand-side drivers, the combined effect of which outweighs current prevention and treatment efforts. Multiple primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention interventions, both evidence-informed and evidence-based, are available to address each point along the disease continuum—non-use, initiation, dependence, addiction, and death.

Summary: If interventions grounded in the best available evidence are disseminated and implemented across the disease continuum in a coordinated and collaborative manner, public health systems could be increasingly effective in responding to the epidemic./p>