September 5, 2018 – ED and Overdose


Anchor lead: Integration with drug treatment is needed when people come to the ED with an overdose, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Emergency departments are well-equipped to handle opioid overdose, but less so when it comes to getting people into drug treatment, a recent report found. Eric Strain, a drug abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Strain: We have two factors going on. One is difficulty with treatment capacity and having insufficient treatment capacity for people who want treatment. But another factor that we need to consider is that some people aren’t ready to enter treatment despite our recommendation that they do so.  :16

Even so, Strain favors making sure the offer is always made.

Strain:I think that it would be extremely valuable and critical for emergency departments to develop protocols which allow people to be initiated into treatment for opiate use disorder or any other substance use disorder if they present to the ED asking for that kind of help.  :17

Strain says resources for providing these services must be found. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.