Support Services for Rural MOUD Programs
Many rural programs providing medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) offer a variety of services,
in addition to medication, that support treatment for opioid use disorder. These support services
help patients by connecting them with resources, including those that address the social determinants
of health. Examples of support services offered by rural MOUD programs include housing,
transportation, employment assistance, and child care.
Some residents of rural communities may be experiencing homelessness. It is important for MOUD
programs to understand how to best help this patient population. For example, programs may need to
help patients in treatment establish stable housing, and they may need to partner with other
organizations, such as homeless services providers, to
expand access to shelter or housing for patients while in treatment.
For additional information about rural homelessness, see the page about People
Experiencing Homelessness in the Rural Services Integration Toolkit.
In many rural communities, transportation is a barrier to
accessing MOUD programs. Some
innovative strategies rural programs have developed to address this barrier include:
Co-locate services to reduce transportation needs
Locate MOUD programs in areas that are accessible via public transportation
Establish public transportation routes that reach rural residents
Provide financial support for transportation costs
Collaborate with community partners
Open new access points closer to patients
Provide telehealth services
For additional information about transportation specific to rural substance use disorder programs,
see Transportation in the
Rural Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders Toolkit. For broader information, see the
Rural Transportation Toolkit.
Having a stable job may help patients who have opioid use disorder (OUD) achieve a sustainable
recovery. A rural MOUD program can consider developing a list of local job openings or partner with
organizations to place program participants in local employment opportunities.
MOUD programs should consider offering services and resources that support patients with families. Implementing
approach to treatment includes providing services like child care.
For patients who have children, it can be difficult and expensive to find child care coverage during
appointments for treatment services. Programs can include child care services as part of their
program to reduce this barrier to care. This additional service allows parents to bring their child
to their in-person appointment without having their child in the room while they are discussing
treatment with a provider or attending a counseling session.