Among people with opioid use disorder (OUD), more than half have reported contact with the criminal justice system. A new study published today in Health Affairs reveals that Medicaid expansion is associated with substantial improvements in access to medications for OUD. However, the study also reveals that individuals referred for treatment by the criminal justice system were substantially less likely to receive medications for OUD as part of the treatment plan.Read more
The coronavirus pandemic has led to several temporary regulatory relaxations and policy innovations in treatment for opioid use disorder aimed at making it easier for those seeking care to access treatment without risking in-person interactions. The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) today announced it is providing grants totaling $1.3 million to six organizations to assess the impact of these temporary measures and inform future policies to improve access and promote equity for the treatment of opioid use disorder.Read more
In a study at Penn researchers found that Pennsylvania’s financial incentive policy encouraged hospitals to enact rapid changes to support treatment for opioid use disorder for patients visiting the ED, and evaluates the efficacy of the Opioid Hospital Quality Improvement Program.Read more
Study finds no decrease in prescription fills or clinician visits in the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic for patients recently receiving opioid use disorder therapy.
On the flip side, the study found that during this period fewer people started new treatment for opioid use disorder and fewer urine tests were given across both new and established patients.
Findings identify strengths and weaknesses in telemedicine’s role for opioid use disorder during shutdowns and can inform strategies for improvement.
A Rutgers expert discusses the many impacts of COVID-19 on people with substance use disorder and what treatment providers, policymakers and researchers are doing to help.Read more
A new study suggests that patients with opioid use disorder may be identified using information available in electronic health records, even when diagnostic codes do not reflect this diagnosis. The study demonstrates the utility of proxies coding for DSM-5 criteria from medical records to generate a quantitative DSM-5 score that is associated with opioid use disorder severity. The study methods are unique in deriving a severity score that aims to mirror severity scores from more traditional interview-based diagnostic procedures.Read more
The “secret shopper” study used trained actors attempting to get into treatment with an addiction provider in 10 U.S. states. The results, with more than 10,000 unique patients, revealed numerous challenges in scheduling a first-time appointment to receive medications for opioid use disorder, including finding a provider who takes insurance rather than cash.Read more
Nearly 10 percent of patients who are prescribed opioid medications following heart surgery will continue to use opioids more than 90 days after the procedure, according to a new study led by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.Read more
Of nearly 6,500 commercially insured patients treated in EDs nationwide for an overdose or other opioid-related medical complications, only 16 percent accessed opioid use disorder (OUD) medications or another form of treatment within three months of the ED visit.Read more
When Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced the early release of some Kentucky inmates due to COVID-19 concerns, the team behind the HEALing Communities Study worked quickly to fast-track one of the evidence-based practices for preventing opioid deaths that was due to launch later this year: the distribution of naloxone to individuals at highest risk for overdose, particularly those being released from local jails.Read more
UAB is launching a pilot program aimed at getting more opioid users into treatment, using telemedicine in three rural counties and emploing the Alabama One Health Record®, a statewide health information exchange, to track outcomes in these patients.Read more
Offering $750 to emergency medicine physicians exponentially increased those trained to prescribe buprenorphine.Read more
A new survey of U.S. primary care physicians from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that nearly one-third, 32.9 percent, do not think treating opioid use disorder with medication is any more effective than treatment without medication.Read more
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).Read more
Patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) receiving treatment with opioid agonists (medications such as methadone or buprenorphine) had an 80 percent lower risk of dying from an opioid overdose compared to patients in treatment without the use of medications.Read more
Proactive outreach, including knocking on the doors of individuals who recently overdosed on opioids, can be an effective way to engage more people who have opioid use disorder with long-term care, according to researchers at UTHealth.Read more
A study of more than 4 million Medicaid claims records during a recent seven-year period concludes that less than a third of the nearly 3,800 U.S. adolescents and young adults who experienced a nonfatal opioid overdose got timely (within 30 days) follow-up addiction treatment to curb or prevent future misuse and reduce the risk of a second overdose.Read more
Two researchers from Penn State College of Medicine have received nearly $5 million from the National Institutes of Health to study whether an already-approved drug can be used to reduce cravings and prevent relapse in those struggling with opioid addiction.Read more
The research team looked at all research on the effects of cannabis use on illicit opioid use during methadone maintenance therapy, which is a common treatment for opioid use disorder, and found six studies involving more than 3,600 participants.Read more
Scientists from the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs will lead a $25 million National Institutes of Health study testing treatments, including the use of telemedicine, to help fight the opioid epidemic in rural America.Read more