Increasing treatment access for people with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) with Medication-Assisted Recovery (MAR) at risk for fatal overdosing continues to be a priority for communities, local, state and, federal government agencies. MAR is an effective treatment and harm reduction intervention for OUD: patients on MAR have a lower risk of fatal overdose than those receiving behavioral therapies alone.
The Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Substance Use, Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR), and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) launched the MAR NOW pilot program.
MAR NOW connects callers to immediate treatment for opioid use disorder, including telephonic prescription and home induction on buprenorphine or same-day clinic appointments for methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone. MAR NOW can also connect patients to withdrawal management and residential treatment.
MAR NOW launched in Chicago in May 2022 and will expand statewide on September 1, 2022.
MAR NOW is accessible through the 24/7Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances (833-234-6343). Callers asking for opioid treatment between 6am-10pm seven days/week will be immediately connected to a provider. After hours, callers will leave a message and receive a call back the next day.
After induction on MAR, patients with MAR NOW will be referred to community-based care for ongoing treatment. The Program is evaluation retention in care and patient satisfaction at three months.
MAR NOW can be initiated in the hospital and emergency department setting. The Program can serve as a bridge clinic and assist patients with insurance enrollment and connection to other behavioral health supports, as needed.