Medication First aPPROACH
The Missouri Department of Mental Health and Opioid STR/SOR grant partners have developed and disseminated a “Medication First” treatment approach to OUD, analogous to the Housing First approach to chronic homelessness, across dozens of Missouri’s state-funded substance use disorder treatment programs.
Key principles of Medication First:
People with OUD receive pharmacotherapy treatment as quickly as possible, prior to lengthy assessments or treatments planning sessions;
Maintenance pharmacotherapy is delivered without arbitrary tapering or time limits;
Individualized psychosocial services are continually offered but not required as a condition of pharmacotherapy;
Pharmacotherapy is discontinued only if it is worsening the person’s condition.
What’s happened so far….
STR/SOR funding has been provided to 69 treatment sites (see map below) that are committed to implementing OUD treatment consistent with the Medication First principles
Over 5450 people have received treatment
Outcomes are promising; people enrolled in STR/SOR Medication First treatment programs have an increased likelihood of :
Receiving an evidence-based medication for the treatment of OUD
Receiving that medication sooner
Being retained in treatment at 1, 3, 6, and 9 months
Costing the State less in reimbursed services on average, per month
To learn more about Medication First and treatment implementation and evaluation , visit the Findings page