Public Health

McCance-Katz Speaks Out on OUD

May 7, 2019

Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz

In a recent blog post on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) website, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Mental Health and Substance Use Elinore McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, called for a concentrated effort among health care providers to increase the availability of services for patients with opioid use disorder (OUD).

According to McCance-Katz, despite the country’s adequate supply of practitioners who are eligible to administer OUD treatment, many practices are apprehensive to open their doors to the 2.1 million people suffering from opioid addiction. As a result, these individuals are left without access to the care they so desperately need.

McCance-Katz also acknowledged the existence of numerous concerns within the medical community that can deter providers from offering evidence-based OUD treatments, such as increased scrutiny from regulators, gaps in medical education surrounding addiction, and the prevalence of practice-level barriers. However, she maintained that these concerns are often unfounded and asked for all of her colleagues in the health professions to treat patients with OUD just like any other patient with a chronic disorder.

The full text of Dr. McCance-Katz’s post is available on the SAMHSA website.