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The many ways Stanford Medicine is responding to the opioid crisis

Spilled bottle of pills

Clinicians, researchers and educators at Stanford have launched a number of programs to address the opioid crisis.
Victor Moussa/Shutterstock.com

By Gordy Slack

In addition to strengthening the Stanford School of Medicine’s curriculum focused on opioid and other addiction disorders, Stanford Medicine’s broader clinical, research and campus community is committed to addressing the deepening opioid crisis in myriad ways.

Below are some examples: 

Clinical response

The Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic is an outpatient center for adult patients with substance-use disorders, behavioral addictions and co-occurring psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety and psychosis. About a fourth of patients with mental health disorders also struggle with addiction. Addressing the conditions together is often key to effectively managing either. The clinic’s care resources include medication-assisted treatment.

An inpatient addiction medicine consult service helps hospitalized patients with addiction, regardless of their primary reason for hospitalization. For example, the addiction experts can help transition people with opioid addiction onto medications to treat opioid use disorder. The service recently added a licensed social worker and peer recovery counselors to its core psychiatric faculty.

Stanford Medicine’s safe prescribing program includes an opioid reduction strategy, as well as patient education and support classes. Additionally, data collected about individual patients’ physical, psychological and social functioning give clinicians insight into how best to reduce opioid use when indicated and provide targeted treatments for patients with opioid use disorder.