Improving release process and treatment after incarceration may reduce opioid overdoses.

New research from Tufts University School of Medicine suggests critical changes to the process of transitioning people out of jail while on substance use treatment can reduce opioid deaths among the highly susceptible population.

Disparities in opioid treatment access remain for women, Black and Hispanic people

Buprenorphine is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that effectively treats opioid dependence or addiction. But women, as well as Black and Hispanic populations, do not have equal access to this potentially lifesaving medication, new Mayo Clinic research finds.

Medication that lowers risk of overdose underused

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Saint Louis University found that less than half of Americans who received treatment for opioid use disorder over a five-year period were offered a potentially lifesaving medication. The numbers were even lower for those with what’s known as polysubstance use disorder — when opioid users also misuse other substances.

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Opioid overdose reduced in patients taking buprenorphine

The drug buprenorphine is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder, but many who misuse opioids also take benzodiazepines — drugs that treat anxiety and similar conditions. Many treatment centers hesitate to treat patients addicted to opioids who also take benzodiazepines. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis studied overdose risk in people taking buprenorphine and found that the drug lowered risk, even in people taking benzodiazepines.

Barriers to addiction care fell because of COVID-19, experts say; now the challenge is keeping them down

The opioid epidemic didn’t go away when the coronavirus pandemic began. But rapid changes in regulations and guidance could also help many more people get care for addiction, experts say. They caution that it will take more changes to truly lower barriers that stand in the way of delivering evidence-based addiction care to more people via telemedicine.

Study Reveals Pharmacy-level Barriers to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Appalachian Kentucky

A new study led by University of Kentucky researcher April Young and Emory University researcher Hannah Cooper shows that a number of pharmacies in the Appalachian region of Kentucky are limiting the dispensing of buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD).