States Seek to Imitate Baltimore Opioid Treatment Model

A collaborative system of medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction operating in Baltimore City has become a model for jurisdictions across the nation.

As reported on Stateline:

Operated by Johns Hopkins Hospital and located two blocks from its main campus, the Broadway Center — or “911” as it’s called because of its address at 911 N. Broadway — has provided methadone maintenance therapy for people with opioid addiction for more than two decades.

But unlike most of the roughly 1,400 methadone clinics across the country, the Broadway Center offers not only methadone, but the two other federally approved addiction medications, buprenorphine and naltrexone, and a full complement of mandatory addiction counseling and group classes. In most other places, addiction treatment is fragmented, leaving patients to shop around for the care they need or settle for whatever is offered at their local opioid treatment clinic.

“If you went to a doctor for any other disease, you’d expect to be offered all available treatment options,” said Dr. David Gastfriend, scientific adviser at the Philadelphia-based Treatment Research Institute, which studies substance abuse treatment. “Addiction treatment should be no different.”

The Broadway Center also collaborates with more than 30 office-based physicians in Baltimore who are licensed to prescribe buprenorphine. Local doctors refer their patients with addiction to the center, which in turn refers its addiction patients to local doctors for physical health care.

So far, Oregon and Washington state have emulated the so-called collaborative opioid prescribing program at some of their existing methadone clinics. Rhode Island is gearing up to launch similar programs at every methadone maintenance center in the state.

Georgia and New Mexico are attempting to recreate the collaborative program, but have so far been unable to convince local physicians to sign up, Stoller said.

Key to the Broadway Center’s success is Maryland’s expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act and its coverage of methadone at opioid treatment programs.

For more information read the full article on Stateline.