May 16, 2018
Treating opioid use disorder among homeless families can reduce hepatitis C transmission, infant drug withdrawal, and overdose, which is the leading cause of death among people experiencing homelessness. Although office-based treatment is effective for homeless patients, homelessness (especially among families) creates barriers to office-based opioid treatment, such as stigma, child care needs, or distance from an office site. To reduce barriers to treatment, the Family Team at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program added a shelter-based opioid treatment program to its outreach clinic at a family homeless shelter and motel. The Family Team consists of a physician, a nurse, two case managers, and a behavioral health clinician.