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Psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and other clinicians who work in mental health settings are in an optimal position to treat co-occurring opioid use and mental health disorders (COD-opioid). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone as treatments for opioid use disorder. Of these drugs, buprenorphine/naloxone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone extended-release injectable suspension are available outside federally certified opioid treatment programs and are appropriate for use in mental health settings to treat mental health clients with COD-opioid and enhance the effectiveness of mental health treatment.

This guide prepares mental health practitioners to (1) identify clients with co-occurring opioid use and mental health disorders in mental health settings and (2) treat these clients with an appropriate opioid use disorder medication. It provides a practical strategy for treating clients in mental health settings with buprenorphine/naloxone or naltrexone extended-release injectable suspension.

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This research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grant No. 5R34DA046950-02) and carried out within the Access and Delivery Program in RAND Health Care.

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