SAMHSA has offered a new guide for those primary care practices beginning to incorporate substance use treatment as part of their services. They answer an extensive list of questions, below, regarding the tools and skills necessary to provide such treatment:

  • What’s the best way for my agency to structure these new services? The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) has many resources to explain and explore integrated care models. If you’re a safety-net primary care provider new to integration, you’ll probably want to start by reviewing our Quick Start Guide to Behavioral Health Integration; then learn how other primary care provider organizations have paid for and sustained substance use services in this white paper from SAMHSA. Don’t forget to share materials such as our video, What is Integrated Care?, to educate your agency leadership and patients about the benefits of integrated care.
  • What are the key ingredients of the SBIRT practice of and how can my organization get started? We’ve compiled resources on everything you ever wanted to know about SBIRT, including screening tools, brief interventions that use clinical approaches like motivational interviewing, and ways to facilitate referrals to specialty treatment providers.
  • What should I know about offering medication assisted treatment (MAT)? Our MAT webpage has information and resources to inform prescribers and the entire integrated team about the different medications available to treat substance use conditions, guidelines for prescribers, and a handy Implementation Checklist for providers on adding MAT to their service array.
  • What should I look for when hiring new staff to provide these services? Check out the workforce section of our website to view sample job descriptions, learn the core competencies for integrated care teams, and sign up substance use services staff for our online training to help addiction professionals understand how to work in primary care. You can also find additional trainings to educate staff about integrated, person-centered care on our education and training page.
  • How can I establish partnerships with other agencies in my community? Creating new integrated care partnerships means you’ll need to set up new contracts and care coordination agreements – we’ve compiled resources on these materials and several case examples from agencies on how they’ve engaged new partners.
  • How can I specifically coordinate new substance use services with prevention and treatment services for HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis C? We’ve gathered some great resources that talk about the connections between these conditions and specific approaches to combining these services here.

For access to consultations, a phone hotline, news, and other updates, please view the original post from SAMHSA.