A Research Program to Ensure the Effective Delivery of Substance Use Treatment Across Acute and Community Care Settings

Substance use disorders are a major contributor to preventable illness and death, including HIV and hepatitis C infection. An effective response to this public health crisis depends on using evidence-based practices in acute and community care settings (addiction health care) to understand factors that influence access to health services and people’s drug use.

This program examines health care and substance use through three interconnected lines of inquiry:

  1. Collaborating with peer-based support organizations in the community to explore social, structural, and physical influences shaping access to and engagement with substance use treatment.
  2. Employing implementation science approaches to examine individual, social, and structural influences on the uptake of evidence-based practices in addiction health care through examining a) local and regional implementation of newly released regional guidelines for the clinical management of opioid dependence, and b) the recent integration of evidence-based practices in addiction health care in a range of settings.
  3. Examining the perspectives and experiences of people who use drugs in relation to evidence-based practices in addiction health care and the impacts of these practices upon a) substance use treatment access and retention; b) addiction health services access and engagement, including HIV and hepatitis C treatment; and c) overdose risks.

Ultimately, this project seeks to integrate community-based and implementation science approaches to inform how we can increase the responsiveness of substance use treatment programs to the needs of people who use drugs and of health care professionals.