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Rural Health Information Hub

Dissemination Audiences for MOUD Programs

Rural programs providing medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) can disseminate program information to a number of audiences. Below are some key audiences and considerations for dissemination.

Patients and Families

Dissemination can benefit patients and their families, including potential patients with untreated opioid use disorder (OUD) not yet enrolled in an MOUD program. Sharing information about an MOUD program can increase knowledge and awareness of available services, as well as acceptance and trust of the program.

Community Members

Information shared with rural community members should convey the benefits of MOUD, explain the nature of OUD, and address specific community concerns. Programs can inform community members about the nature of addiction and treatment and what to expect from an MOUD program. For example, many patients experience relapse and do not immediately enter long-term recovery. Existing rural MOUD programs note it is common for community members to have specific, scenario-based questions and concerns about clinics and treatment centers being established in the community. Rural programs should be prepared to answer these types of questions.

Local Community Groups

Examples of local community groups include churches, clubs, and other civic organizations. The goal of sharing information with these groups is to decrease stigma and increase understanding of how to treat people with OUD.

Healthcare Professionals

Other healthcare providers in the community, such as OB-GYNs and pharmacists, may have specific practices and beliefs regarding OUD and use of medication for treatment. Dissemination can focus on educating these healthcare professionals on effective treatments for substance use disorders and mental health, with the goal of increasing knowledge and acceptance.

Government Officials

It is important to disseminate information to government officials, including those at the local and state level. Examples of government officials include local law enforcement officers, district attorneys, judges, and chief policy officials. Dissemination approaches include using logic, reason, and evidence to communicate about the program and combat stigma. Dissemination may open opportunities for partnership with government officials, including opportunities for patient referrals.