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Buy-in is critical for establishing and maintaining support for substance use disorder treatment programs. It is important to consider the types of partnerships that are needed to implement a substance use disorder treatment and prevention program in a rural community. Key program partners may include:

  • Law enforcement
  • EMS
  • Fire departments
  • Court system
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Pharmacies
  • Public health
  • Recovery groups
  • Local schools, colleges, and universities
  • Housing agencies
  • Local social and welfare organizations
  • Churches and faith-based organizations

Particularly for programs focused on opioid overdose response, it is critical to partner with leadership from local law enforcement and EMS. Rural programs also most often work closely with hospitals and clinics in the community. It may be helpful to ask hospitals, clinics, and other partners supporting the program to sign Memoranda of Understanding. Creating these partnerships is important for institutionalizing naloxone administration protocols, data collection efforts, and other program elements in the infrastructure of all participating organizations.