Veterans Health Administration to host webinar on opioid epidemic

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The U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) will host a webinar for community providers on Dec. 17 to discuss opioid use disorder (OUD) among Veteran patients.

The webinar, Opioid Use Disorder Treatment, Naloxone, and Overdose and Suicide Prevention, will focus on lifesaving medications for OUD; the relationship between OUD, overdose, and suicide; specific interventions to address this relationship; and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initiatives that support community providers.

More than 40 percent of patients with OUD in the VHA receive medications for opioid use disorder, although the rates are growing. Prescription rates vary based on patient characteristics and VA facility.

The VA distributed lifesaving naloxone to more than 260,000 veterans, and more than 1,500 overdoses were reversed.

Dr. Joseph Liberto and Dr. Elizabeth Oliva will be the presenters.

Liberto serves as VA National Mental Health director, Substance Use Disorders, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Baltimore, Md.

Oliva is VA National Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution coordinator in Menlo Park, Calif.

The webinar is part of the VA’s goal of informing health care teams and community providers on naloxone and other medications for opioid use disorder.

Health care providers who are interested in the webinar must preregister. It will be recorded and posted online for those with a VHA Train account.

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