Importance of Dissemination for MOUD Programs
Dissemination is a useful tool for sharing information broadly. Rural communities can share information to inform and educate the community about effective treatment options for opioid use disorder (OUD), including use of medication for OUD.
Sharing information about a program providing medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) can make it more visible and increase awareness among patients, families, healthcare professionals, partner organizations, and others in the community at large. This can decrease stigma around MOUD. One way of communicating to decrease stigma is by using analogies. Rural programs can explain that OUD is a complex chronic disease, similar to type 2 diabetes and hypertension. It is common for people with OUD to experience relapse, just like in other complex chronic diseases.
Rural MOUD programs can also share information to help other organizations and communities seeking to implement their own program. Programs can document and share lessons learned, including successes and challenges, so that others can learn from and apply strategies based on the experience of existing MOUD programs.
A program is more likely to be successful if there is support from all levels — from the state down to the local community. Dissemination can garner community support for an MOUD program. It is particularly important to have buy-in for the program from partners such as healthcare executives, healthcare providers, program staff, and community members.
To effectively reach rural partners and collaborators, an MOUD program should develop a dissemination strategy. This may include a written plan for dissemination that describes what type of program information will be shared, how this information will be shared, with whom it will be shared, and what terminology will be used.