Addressing Viral Hepatitis in People With Substance Use Disorders
SAMHSA has just released a new Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP), Addressing Viral Hepatitis in People With Substance Use Disorders. This is an important and helpful step toward achieving the fifth goal of the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, which calls on us to ensure that persons who use drugs have access to viral hepatitis prevention, care, and treatment services.
Dr. H. Westley Clark, Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, reminds us that "viral hepatitis is often a silent disease until severe liver damage has occurred. Substance abuse is a major risk factor associated with viral hepatitis, yet behavioral health providers are often not well informed about this potentially lethal disease. TIP 53 was written to address this knowledge gap among our providers with the goal to improve care for clients with substance use disorders."
The new TIP helps behavioral health professionals who treat people with substance abuse problems to understand viral hepatitis prevention, care, and treatment. It also addresses how these issues can be integrated into substance abuse treatment programs to better address the needs of their clients who are at risk for or infected with viral hepatitis. This document is written using everyday language and includes visual aids that help to explain many of the technical aspects of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus disease progression, testing, and treatment.Order or Download | Read More on the SAMHSA Blog