PCSS is a program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created in response to the opioid overdose epidemic to train primary care providers in the evidence-based prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders (OUD) and treatment of chronic pain. The project is geared toward primary care providers who wish to treat OUD. PCSS is made up of a coalition, led by American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), of major healthcare organizations all dedicated to addressing this healthcare crisis. Through a variety of trainings and a clinical mentoring program, PCSS’s mission is to increase healthcare providers’ knowledge and skills in the prevention, identification, and treatment of substance use disorders with a focus on opioid use disorders.

Goals & Objectives

Maintain and expand a comprehensive electronic repository of training materials and educational resources to support evidence-based treatment of opioid use disorder.

Training is designed to increase the knowledge base and clinical proficiency of prescribers and providers from diverse multi-disciplinary healthcare backgrounds. An on-line curriculum includes:

  1. Patient selection and matching with treatment setting (residential, outpatient program, office-based) and specific medications (methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone);
  2. Practical guidelines for detoxification (both outpatient and inpatient);
  3. Implementing antagonist-based treatment, managing long-term maintenance on medications;
  4. Transitioning from agonist- to antagonist-based treatment;
  5. Managing substance use and co-occurring psychiatric disorders;
  6. Treatment of individuals with co-occurring medical problems and chronic pain;
  7. Treatment in specialized populations such as adolescents, elderly, pregnant women, and those involved in veterans and criminal justice healthcare systems (for detailed description of the training curriculum, see below).

The content of educational resources is overseen by a panel of experienced clinicians, researchers, and educators forming a Clinical Expert Panel.

Expand existing clinical mentoring program to provide guidance to prescribers and key health professionals on prevention, identification, and treatment of opioid use disorder.

The program provides clinical mentors and matches them with clinicians. Communications between mentors and clinicians is primarily via phone and Internet (email, video). A discussion forum, moderated by an addiction expert, allows healthcare professionals to post questions and to encourage communication among a wide range of providers.

Expand waiver training for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

All PCSS trainings are FREE and available to physicians, physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners and others.