Identifying Opportunities to Innovate and Promote Best Practices in Opioid Use Disorder Treatment within Pharmacies

Pharmacists are uniquely positioned to play a critical role in overdose prevention but are underutilized within the behavioral health workforce ecosystem. The 14,000 registered pharmacists in Massachusetts have a tremendous opportunity to educate consumers about the effects of drugs and safe usage, and to promote harm reduction practices through supply of syringes, provision of naloxone, and other practices.

RIZE has identified an opportunity to support and promote pharmacies and pharmacists as a key intervention point in the care continuum of treatment and harm reduction for those with an opioid use disorder (OUD) and to better understand pharmacists’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding patients with OUD, RIZE is partnering with Commonwealth Medicine, a division of the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, to conduct a representative survey of Massachusetts pharmacists. The findings from the survey will inform how to support and potentially enhance the role of pharmacists and pharmacies in treating and preventing SUD, incorporating harm reduction into their professional practices, and to assess how stigma may affect services.