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The healthcare community has an opportunity to take better care of our patients who struggle with an opioid use disorder. We can tailor the words we use, the treatments offered and work to establish trust. The Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin created a tool to help.

The Reducing Stigma Educational Tools (ReSET).  ReSET consists of two interactive online modules developed to help healthcare providers confidently identify and address stigma surrounding opioid use disorder, to ensure the delivery of equitable and compassionate health care for all patients living with opioid addiction.

Module 1 provides a background on how stigma towards patients with opioid use disorder manifests in health care settings and provides a better understanding of negative health outcome consequences for these patients. The medical model of addiction is explored by comparing OUD to other chronic diseases and the impact of opioid use disorder stigma on special patient populations is addressed. Practical skills in addressing OUD stigma are introduced, including identifying and responding to stigmatizing language.
Module 2 builds upon the knowledge and skills from Module 1 with an emphasis on developing practical tools for addressing stigma and delivering compassionate, recovery-oriented care to patients with opioid use disorder. After examining one’s own implicit biases, we explore skills for promoting patient-centered communication to improve care for patients with opioid use disorder. This module also addresses stigma towards pharmacologic treatment for OUD, such as methadone and buprenorphine, and dispels many common myths that create barriers to patients accessing these evidence-based treatments.

The project was grant-supported so it is available at no cost; also free continuing education credits for physicians, nurses, social workers and pharmacists are available.

Great Plains Quality Innovation Network is working to raise awareness and assist with medication safety and reduction of adverse drug events. For more information or to access resources, visit our Web site.