SAMHSA Medication Assisted Treatment Protocols Are Out: Here's What You Need to Know

Mar 6, 2018 7:03:00 AM by Jody Lutz

On February 15, 2018, SAMHSA released updated Treatment Improvement Protocols (TIP 63) for Opioid Use Disorder. We poured through the 306-page mega-manual to bring you the highlights.


Document Summary

TIP 63: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder for Healthcare and Addiction Professionals with an abundance of links and resources for physicians, NP, PA and other staff. Specific sections are dedicated to patients and their families as the work collaboratively towards treatment goals. 

TIP 63 provides an updated overview on the use of the three FDA approved medications used to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) - Methadone, Naltrexone and Buprenorphine--commonly referred to as Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT.

This comprehensive resource is broken down into five parts, each targeted with specific topics for a selected audience. 

Part 1: Introduction to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment


Healthcare and Addiction Professionals, Policymakers, Patients and their Families


Easily accessible information that provides a general introduction to providing medications to address OUD. It summarizes key facts and figures and provides a helpful vocabulary summary that would be useful for medical staff explaining OUD treatment to patients and their families. 

Part 2: Addressing Opioid Use Disorder in General Medical Settings


Healthcare Professionals


A primer for healthcare professionals who are treating patients with OUD including screening tools for alcohol, tobacco, prescription and illicit drugs; assessments addressing patients’ medical, social, substance use disorders (SUDs) and family histories; as well as laboratory testing. This section contains a variety of resources for healthcare professionals to implement screening protocols in their practices. 

Part 3:  Pharmacotherapy for Opioid Use Disorder


Healthcare Professionals


A pharmacopedia resource. Detailed studies of the three FDA approved OUD medications. Methadone, the most used and studied OUD medication in the world, considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an essential medication. Naltrexone is discussed in both the injectable form as well as the oral formulation. Buprenorphine is discussed as a mono product, the buprenorphine/naloxone combination, transmucosal buprenorphine, buprenorphine implants and buprenorphine extended release injections. Each product summary also contains sample verbiage to discuss with patients as well as clinical guidelines. 

Part 4: Partnering Addiction Counselors with Clients and Healthcare Professionals


Healthcare and Addiction Professionals 


Targeted information for support specialists who work with individuals who take a medication for OUD—Methadone, Naltrexone, or Buprenorphine.  This section provides tools for targeted  interactions between support staff, patients and prescribers. It also focuses on the crucial need for support services including:  transportation, child care, housing, legal assistance, etc. 

Part 5 :Resources Related to Medications for Opioid Use Disorders


Healthcare and Addiction Professionals, Policymakers, Patients and their Families


Part 5 of TIP 63 provides an audience-segmented collection of resources and a glossary of key terms related to OUD. Practice guidelines and decision-making tools for healthcare professionals with OUD screening, assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, and referral. Additionally, this section includes patient and family-oriented resources provide information about opioid addiction in general; the role of medication, behavioral and supportive services, and mutual-help groups in the treatment of OUD; how-to's for identifying recovery support services; and how-to's for locating medical and behavioral health service providers who specialize in treating OUD or other SUDs. There are numerous links and tools in this informative section. 

For more, check out our recent posts on related topics:


The Takeaway

In summary, this is a document to bookmark and utilize as a tool to ensure compliance, engage patients and develop protocols for successful OUD treatment paradigms. 

At AffirmHealth, we build software to support prescriber compliance across the organization. Our latest product, AffirmHealth Shield, helps organizations develop, implement and manage prescribing protocols. If responsible prescribing is important to you and your organization, having protocols in place is a must.

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Topics: Medication Assisted Treatment Protocols, Opioid Use Disorder


The information presented on or through this website is made available solely for general information purposes and is not intended to substitute for professional, medical or legal advice. We do not warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this information. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. We disclaim all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on such materials.


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