Date of Submission

Spring 5-14-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Dr. Alexa Curtis

Second Advisor

Dr. Trinette Radasa


Problem: Widespread opioid misuse has led to the opioid epidemic that claims 130 deaths per day due to an opioid overdose (CDC, 2018). The opioid epidemic has plagued the United States for three decades and has been considered a public health emergency since 2017 (HHS, 2017). Rural communities are disproportionately affected by this problem and in 2014, the rate of opioid overdose deaths was 45% higher in rural communities (SAMHSA, 2018).

Context: Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is considered the most effective treatment for opioid dependence because it incorporates medication management and biopsychosocial supports (Jones et al., 2018). Retention in a MAT program is predictive of better health outcomes (Timko et al., 2016). However, there is a gap between opioid dependence treatment need and access to MAT services in rural communities due to limited resources (SAMHSA, 2018). The context for this project, within the particular setting, is based upon the gap analysis that identified limited access and a waiting list for MAT services at a community-based substance use disorder and recovery organization, Granite Wellness, within a rural Northern California community.

Proposed Intervention: The proposed intervention is the expansion of MAT services at Granite Wellness.

Proposed Outcome Measures: The project will evaluate the following outcome measures: the number of patients admitted to MAT services, the 3-month treatment retention rate, patient satisfaction, and staff satisfaction.