Working Together to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse and Overdose Deaths

Medications for Addiction Treatment Action Team
Priority Area II:
Treatment and Overdose Prevention
Medications for Addiction Treatment Action Team

Leads:  Brian Hurley, MD & Gary Tsai, MD

Key Objective 4:
Expand access to medications for addiction treatment for individuals dependent on opioids


The use of psychosocial interventions in conjunction with medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of addictions is an evidence-based intervention in cases of prescription drug abuse. However, the availability of these Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT) has been limited by several factors, some of which include a shortage of qualified prescribers, a lack of knowledge about these options by patients and treatment programs, cultural resistance to the use of MAT, as well as financial and regulatory challenges.


The Medications for Addiction Treatment Action Team will:

  • Engage various provider groups, including but not limited to primary care, mental health, and addiction clinicians to increase the number of prescribers who are certified and competent in prescribing MAT. A particular area of focus will be increasing the number of prescribers with expertise in using buprenorphine and naltrexone for substance use disorders.
  • Conduct buprenorphine and naltrexone training events, workshops, webinars, mentorship opportunities, and other methods of effectively influencing clinical practice. Targeting organizations/agencies committed to expanding MAT will facilitate continued sustainability of these efforts.


SMART Goals:

-  Increase number of buprenorphine waivered prescribers in LAC by 40 by April 2017, and 160 by 2020.
-  Increase number of buprenorphine claims in the Medi-Cal system to 10,000 in LAC by April 2017, and 50,000 by 2020.