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Emergency departments and acute inpatient medical hospitalizations represent a critical touchpoint during which interventions to both reduce harms associated with substance use and to initiate treatment for substance use disorders can be implemented. Often, the immediate complications of substance use are managed, but the underlying disorder is left largely untreated. This workshop aims to describe programs that are currently underway including the supportive evidence to capitalize on the time that a patient spends in the acute care setting to promote health and therapeutic engagement while minimizing future harm. Optimizing these treatment strategies will improve patient care and satisfaction while reducing unnecessary resource utilization.
Michael Lynch, MD, is a board-certified emergency physician and medical toxicologist. He is the medical director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center. Dr. Lynch works clinically in two-level one trauma center EDs and as a clinical toxicologist at 5 hospitals. He has led efforts to improve care for patients with substance use disorders both in the ED and in the hospital coupled with a connection to ongoing treatment.