Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Ann Wetsel

Committee Member

Dr. Ann Wetsel

Committee Member

Dr. Gregory Ryan Hoffman

Committee Member

Dr. Veronica Parker


Over 21 million people in the United States (U.S.) require substance use disorder (SUD) treatment; yet less than 4 million people receive treatment (Bressan & Kening, 2023). According to Thomas et al. (2022), opioid overdose deaths are increasing, and improving access to evidence-based treatment is critical. Hospital emergency departments (EDs) play a lifesaving in the emergency treatment of opioid overdoses; but can also serve as gateways to opioid treatment by healthcare providers for opioid addictions (Reuter et al., 2022). Mortality, after an ED visit for opioid overdose, is high (Thomas et al., 2022). Community resources are limited, thus making it difficult for patients to have follow-up care (Madras et al., 2020). Emergency departments (EDs) can serve as critical access points for the initiation of buprenorphine/naloxone or Suboxone for opioid overdoses or opioid use disorders (OUDs) (refs). The purpose of this project is to evaluate the impacts of an ED provider information update on the initiation of Suboxone, with a community treatment program referral, on patients treated for an opioid overdose (OD) and/or opioid use disorder (OUD) in an emergency department. The findings of this project will describe the impacts of low barrier treatment, including access to Suboxone and a referral to a community treatment program, on patients treated for an OD and/or OUD in the ED.



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