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Substance use disorders

Project goal

The goal of this project is to maximize opportunities for clients to receive effective and successful treatment for substance use disorders.

Need immediate help? Contact the Washington Recovery Help Line at any time for free, confidential, emotional support, crisis intervention, and referrals: 1-866-789-1511.


The Health Care Authority (HCA) is committed to working with providers and community stakeholders to fully address substance use disorders.

In early 2015, HCA reached out to health care providers to get feedback regarding substance use disorders and Medication Assisted Treatment. The hundreds of responses received gave us insight into the challenges, recommendations, and experiences of those in the community.

Medication assisted treatment

Substance use disorders are long-lasting, progressive and deteriorating diseases. Studies demonstrate that treatment with buprenorphine is comparable to methadone in reducing illicit opioid use. At higher fixed doses, retention rates approach those found with methadone maintenance, and for Medicaid patients, there is no evidence of increased costs or safety problems compared with methadone.

Medicaid coverage of buprenorphine prescribed outside of traditional opioid treatment programs increases the number of access points for treatment and provides patients with additional flexibility in managing their illness.

Further information on medication assisted treatment and policy changes may be found on the webinar presented by the Deputy Medical Director, Charissa Fotinos.


Amanda Avalos
Email: amanda.avalos@hca.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-3707