Office Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT)—the Workforce Treating Opioid Use Disorder

Authors: Lisa de Saxe Zerden, PhD, MSW | Brianna Lombardi, PhD, MSW | Erica Richman, PhD, MSW | Anjalee Sharma, MSW

Topics: Behavioral Health, Primary Care

Research Center: Carolina Health Workforce Research Center

March 3, 2020

The current opioid crisis in the United States is a recognized national health emergency. The number of opioid-related deaths has more than quadrupled since 1999. Over 42,000 individuals died from opioid use in 2016 alone. To combat this epidemic, primary care providers are expanding clients’ access to care, particularly to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs, also referred to as office-based opioid treatment (OBOT). As primary care office-based treatment expands, understanding the workforce needed to effectively deploy this model of care is critical.

This research brief assesses which professionals comprise the workforce that provides MAT in primary care, how OBOT teams communicate about patient care, and the behavioral components of MAT provided in primary care settings.

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