In 2016, more than 64,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States, an increase of more than 20 percent from the previous year. At every level of government, policymakers and public health officials are looking for solutions to this problem. But there’s no silver bullet. Addressing the opioid epidemic will require complex, multi-pronged solutions at the local, state and federal levels.

However, we do know at least one proven strategy for reducing overdose deaths: treatment that includes medications. Time and again, research has shown that treatment that combines buprenorphine or methadone with other supports is more effective than treatment that does not include medication.

Unfortunately, for many people who are addicted to opioids, numerous barriers stand in their way of accessing these treatments. In this episode of the American Health Podcast, we look at medication-assisted treatment for opioid-use disorder, and we examine the barriers to helping more people access effective treatment. Listen here.

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