Our vision is that all people who use drugs will have access to evidence-based treatment where and when they need it.

CA Bridge is a program of the Public Health Institute in Oakland, California. Our goal is to transform addiction treatment by ensuring that every hospital in California provides 24/7 access to evidence-based care, treating substance use disorder like any other life-threatening condition.

What We Do

We provide training, technical assistance, and coaching so that hospitals may take on a critical role in solving the overdose crisis. Our extensive resource directory supports substance use treatment implementation, and our work includes innovative projects and initiatives such as:

Our Model

The CA Bridge model advances evidence-based medications for addiction treatment (MAT), particularly buprenorphine, which reduces relapse among people suffering from opioid use disorder. Lowering barriers to treatment, we eliminate unnecessary tests and provide patients in withdrawal with immediate relief from withdrawal symptoms. Once patients are stabilized, they are better equipped to engage in a conversation about long-term treatment with a substance use navigator—a peer from the community, often with lived experience. Using a harm reduction perspective that emphasizes rapid, patient-centered care, our model is proven to work effectively in any hospital setting.

Illustration of Model

How We Work

We are part of a movement.

Our ambitious goal requires galvanizing providers, patients, and communities to join a movement to change the conversation about addiction and promote more effective, just, and humane responses to people addicted to any type of drug.

We value evidence and efficacy over profits and professional interests.

Our model focuses on evidence-based treatment and practices that have been shown to produce better results for people who use drugs. We are not advancing the interests of hospitals or providers.

We innovate.

While our work is grounded in science, we are not afraid to question conventional practice. We are always seeking innovative ways to improve care for people who use drugs.

We focus on real-world applications.

Our focus is on making evidence-based practices work in real-world settings. We are practical and flexible. We consider how financing, legal issues, staffing, and other non-clinical factors impact care.

We speak out for what we believe.

We advocate for what we believe is in the best interest of patients, even if it means expressing views that are unpopular or contrary to established practice.

We learn from our mistakes.

Medical practice is always evolving. We know that what we do today will have unintended consequences. We are committed to studying our mistakes and using them to improve our model.

Our Values

  • Substance use disorder is a treatable medical illness.

  • Treatment must be easy, affordable, and respectful so that people choose treatment over illicit drugs.

  • Treatment must be patient-centered rather than profit-centered.

  • Authentic partnerships with people who use drugs are essential to developing effective approaches to treatment – we must seek and respect their perspectives.

  • Our focus is changing lives, not changing drug tests. We take a harm reduction approach, helping patients meet their goals—whether to get a job, get their kids back, or stop using drugs.

  • Individual drug use should not be a crime.

  • The current approach to people who use drugs is a broken system that creates racial and social injustices.