National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network Meeting Report: Advancing Emergency Department Initiation of Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder

Ann Emerg Med. 2023 Sep;82(3):326-335. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2023.03.025. Epub 2023 May 12.


Opioid use disorder and opioid overdose deaths are a major public health crisis, yet highly effective evidence-based treatments are available that reduce morbidity and mortality. One such treatment, buprenorphine, can be initiated in the emergency department (ED). Despite evidence of efficacy and effectiveness for ED-initiated buprenorphine, universal uptake remains elusive. On November 15 and 16, 2021, the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network convened a meeting of partners, experts, and federal officers to identify research priorities and knowledge gaps for ED-initiated buprenorphine. Meeting participants identified research and knowledge gaps in 8 categories, including ED staff and peer-based interventions; out-of-hospital buprenorphine initiation; buprenorphine dosing and formulations; linkage to care; strategies for scaling ED-initiated buprenorphine; the effect of ancillary technology-based interventions; quality measures; and economic considerations. Additional research and implementation strategies are needed to enhance adoption into standard emergency care and improve patient outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Buprenorphine* / therapeutic use
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (U.S.)
  • Opioid-Related Disorders* / drug therapy
  • United States


  • Buprenorphine
  • Narcotic Antagonists