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1.
Urogynecology (Hagerstown) ; 28(12): 872-878, 2022 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2191224

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: Surgeons must individualize postoperative pain management while also reducing the amount of unused prescribed opioids. OBJECTIVES: This study compared postoperative opioid use in younger versus older women following urogynecologic surgery. We also assessed the likelihood of women returning unused opioids for safe disposal. STUDY DESIGN: This was a prospective study of women undergoing pelvic reconstructive surgery divided into 2 cohorts: younger (<65 years) and older (≥65 years). Our primary outcome was total opioid use, measured in morphine milligram equivalents (MME). We also assessed the average pain score during the first week after surgery measured by a numerical pain scale (range, 0-10). Our secondary outcome was the rate of return of unused prescribed opioids at the 6-week postoperative visit utilizing a disposable drug deactivation system. RESULTS: From April 2019 to September 2021, 152 participants were enrolled: 92 (61%) in the younger cohort (mean age, 51 ± 8 years) and 60 (39%) in the older cohort (mean age, 72 ± 6 years). For our primary outcome, younger women used significantly more opioids during the first postoperative week compared with older women (49 ± 71 vs 28 ± 40 MME, respectively, P = 0.04), despite no difference in average pain scores (4 ± 2 younger vs 3 ± 2 older, P = 0.05). For our secondary outcome, 23% of participants returned their opioids for disposal with the drug deactivation system. CONCLUSIONS: Younger women had higher postoperative opioid use despite similar pain scores after urogynecologic surgery. Among those prescribed opioids, a quarter of participants returned their opioids for disposal at their postoperative visit.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid , Opioid-Related Disorders , Female , Humans , Aged , Adult , Middle Aged , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Prospective Studies , Pain, Postoperative/drug therapy , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy
3.
J Subst Abuse Treat ; 141: 108850, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2180976

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: A 2012 national survey found low utilization of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in US drug courts. This study provides an update on MOUD policies and practices among drug courts in communities that the opioid epidemic has substantially impacted. METHODS: The study surveyed adult drug courts (N = 169, 80 % response rate) in US counties with high opioid mortality rates or numbers of opioid-related deaths about their policies and practices relating to MOUD and the overdose-reversal medication, naloxone. RESULTS: Nearly three quarters of the programs (73 %) reported providing access to all FDA-approved MOUD medications, >90 % offer agonist medications (buprenorphine and/or methadone), 80 % provide naloxone training, and 62 % distribute naloxone overdose-reversal kits to their clients. Most programs rely principally on medical judgment for medication decisions (75 %), have received staff training on MOUD (65 %), and have arranged for clients to continue receiving agonist medications while serving jail sanctions for program violations (63 %). Nevertheless, only about one quarter to one half of clients with OUDs receive the medications in most programs, and respondents offered few explanations for this disconnect between policy and practice. In addition, 24 % of the programs continue to overrule medication decisions and 36 % of the jails in these communities do not offer agonist medication for drug court clients serving custodial sanctions. CONCLUSIONS: Programs have achieved substantial progress in the past decade in improving drug court policies concerning MOUD in communities enduring the worst brunt of the opioid epidemic; however, programs require further guidance to help them understand and rectify service barriers and put intended MOUD policies into effective operation. The authors provide recommendations to enhance MOUD utilization in drug courts and the broader criminal justice system.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , Opioid-Related Disorders , Adult , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology
4.
J Addict Med ; 16(6): 733-735, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117709

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: In the setting of a 50% increase in opioid overdose deaths, the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis opened housing opportunities in the form of Shelter in Place (SIP) hotels to homeless San Francisco residents. Many who entered SIP hotels had opioid use disorder. In fall 2020, Community Behavioral Health Services Pharmacy partnered with SIP hotel medical staff to launch a pilot project, where on-site SIP medical providers prescribed buprenor-phine (BUP) and clinical pharmacists hand-delivered BUP to SIP residents to increase BUP initiation and engagement. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of 3 patients living in SIP hotels starting BUP to demonstrate the feasibility of a SIP hotel BUP delivery program. RESULTS: In all 3 cases, patients were able to start and continue BUP with on-site medical staff visits and delivery of medications by pharmacists. Each case highlights different barriers that were overcome by this system. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that this system of onsite medical care with pharmacist delivery is possible and has the potential to allow for greater outreach and increased ease of obtaining medications for patients.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Homeless Persons , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Retrospective Studies , Pilot Projects , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy
5.
J Subst Abuse Treat ; 143: 108896, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2105480

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Methadone is one of the most utilized treatments for opioid use disorder. However, requirements for observing methadone dosing can impose barriers to patients and increase risk for respiratory illness transmission (e.g., COVID-19). Video observation of methadone dosing at home could allow opioid treatment programs (OTPs) to offer more take-home doses while ensuring patient safety through remote observation of ingestion. METHODS: Between April and August 2020, a clinical pilot program of video observation of methadone take-home dosing via smartphone was conducted within a multisite OTP agency. Participating patients completed a COVID-19 symptom screener and submitted video recordings of themselves ingesting all methadone take-home doses. Patients who followed these procedures for a two-week trial period could continue participating in the full pilot program and potentially receive more take-home doses. This retrospective observational study characterizes patient engagement and compares clinical outcomes with matched controls. RESULTS: Of 44 patients who initiated the two-week trial, 33 (75 %) were successful and continued participating in the full pilot program. Twenty full pilot participants (61 %) received increased take-home doses. Full pilot participants had more days with observed dosing over a 60-day period than matched controls (mean = 53.2 vs. 16.6 days, respectively). Clinical outcomes were similar between pilot participants and matched controls. CONCLUSIONS: Video observation of methadone take-home dosing implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic was feasible. This model has the potential to enhance safety by increasing rates of observed methadone dosing and reducing infection risks and barriers associated with relying solely on face-to-face observation of methadone dosing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Methadone , Pandemics , Feasibility Studies , Pilot Projects , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/rehabilitation , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Opiate Substitution Treatment/methods
6.
Trials ; 23(1): 342, 2022 Apr 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098441

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Methamphetamine use could jeopardize the current efforts to address opioid use disorder and HIV infection. Evidence-based behavioral interventions (EBI) are effective in reducing methamphetamine use. However, evidence on optimal combinations of EBI is limited. This protocol presents a type-1 effectiveness-implementation hybrid design to evaluate the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness of adaptive methamphetamine use interventions, and their implementation barriers in Vietnam. METHOD: Design: Participants will be first randomized into two frontline interventions for 12 weeks. They will then be placed or randomized to three adaptive strategies for another 12 weeks. An economic evaluation and an ethnographic evaluation will be conducted alongside the interventions. PARTICIPANTS: We will recruit 600 participants in 20 methadone clinics. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: (1) age 16+; (2) Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) scores ≥ 10 for methamphetamine use or confirmed methamphetamine use with urine drug screening; (3) willing to provide three pieces of contact information; and (4) having a cell phone. OUTCOMES: Outcomes are measured at 13, 26, and 49 weeks and throughout the interventions. Primary outcomes include the (1) increase in HIV viral suppression, (2) reduction in HIV risk behaviors, and (3) reduction in methamphetamine use. COVID-19 response: We developed a response plan for interruptions caused by COVID-19 lockdowns to ensure data quality and intervention fidelity. DISCUSSION: This study will provide important evidence for scale-up of EBIs for methamphetamine use among methadone patients in limited-resource settings. As the EBIs will be delivered by methadone providers, they can be readily implemented if the trial demonstrates effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04706624. Registered on 13 January 2021. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04706624.


Subject(s)
Amphetamine-Related Disorders , HIV Infections , Methamphetamine , Opioid-Related Disorders , Adolescent , Amphetamine-Related Disorders/diagnosis , COVID-19 , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Methadone/therapeutic use , Methamphetamine/adverse effects , Opioid-Related Disorders/diagnosis , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
8.
Subst Abus ; 43(1): 1370-1373, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2062571

ABSTRACT

Many patients with opioid use disorders do not receive evidence-based treatment. The COVID-19 pandemic expanded the use of telehealth for prescribing medications for opioid use disorder (OUD). The uptake of telehealth has been variable, and this uneven expansion has created natural experiments to test assumptions and answer key questions about what improves outcomes for patients with OUD. Many current quality of care measures are not patient centered and do not focus on the practical questions that clinicians face. What criteria should be met before prescribing buprenorphine? Are physical exams necessary? Does the frequency and type of drug testing predict clinical outcomes? Are short check-in visits by phone or video better than less frequent in-person visits? Answering these questions can help define the essential components of high-quality care for patients with OUD. Defining the features of high-quality care can help create guardrails that will help protect our patients from potentially exploitive and ineffective care. Telehealth will likely end up being one additional tool to deliver care, but the scientific questions that can be answered during this period of rapid change can help answer some of the fundamental questions about providing high-quality care-and that will help all our patients, no matter how care is delivered.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Telemedicine , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Humans , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics
10.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(10): e2236298, 2022 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2059209

ABSTRACT

Importance: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic prompted policy changes to allow increased telehealth delivery of buprenorphine, a potentially lifesaving medication for opioid use disorder (OUD). It is unclear how characteristics of patients who access different treatment modalities (in-person vs telehealth, video vs telephone) vary, and whether modality is associated with retention-a key indicator of care quality. Objectives: To compare patient characteristics across receipt of different treatment modalities and to assess whether modality was associated with retention during the year following COVID-19-related policy changes. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the national Veterans Health Administration. Participants included patients who received buprenorphine for OUD during March 23, 2020, to March 22, 2021. Analyses examining retention were stratified by buprenorphine initiation time (year following COVID-19-related changes; prior to COVID-19-related changes). Exposures: Patient characteristics; treatment modality (at least 1 video visit, at least 1 telephone visit but no video, only in-person). Main Outcomes and Measures: Treatment modality; 90-day retention. Results: Among 17 182 patients, 7094 (41.3%) were aged 30 to 44 years and 6251 (36.4%) were aged 45 to 64 years; 15 835 (92.2%) were male, 14 085 (82.0%) were White, and 16 292 (94.8%) were non-Hispanic; 6547 (38.1%) had at least 1 video visit, 8524 (49.6%) had at least 1 telephone visit but no video visit, and 2111 (12.3%) had only in-person visits. Patients who were younger, male, Black, unknown race, Hispanic, non-service connected, or had specific mental health/substance use comorbidities were less likely to receive any telehealth. Among patients who received telehealth, those who were older, male, Black, non-service connected, or experiencing homelessness and/or housing instability were less likely to have video visits. Retention was significantly higher for patients with telehealth compared with only in-person visits regardless of initiation time (for initiated in year following COVID-19-related changes: adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.31; 95% CI, 1.12-1.53; for initiated prior to COVID-19-related changes: aOR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.08-1.39). Among patients with telehealth, higher retention was observed in those with video visits compared with only telephone for patients who initiated in the year following COVID-19 (aOR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.26-1.71). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study, many patients accessed buprenorphine via telephone and some were less likely to have any video visits. These findings suggest that discontinuing or reducing telephone access may disrupt treatment for many patients, particularly groups with access disparities such as Black patients and those experiencing homelessness. Telehealth was associated with increased retention for both new and continuing patients.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , Telephone
11.
BMJ Open ; 12(9): e067608, 2022 09 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2053226

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The emergence of COVID-19 introduced a dual public health emergency in British Columbia, which was already in the fourth year of its opioid-related overdose crisis. The public health response to COVID-19 must explicitly consider the unique needs of, and impacts on, communities experiencing marginalisation including people with opioid use disorder (PWOUD). The broad move to virtual forms of primary care, for example, may result in changes to healthcare access, delivery of opioid agonist therapies or fluctuations in co-occurring health problems that are prevalent in this population. The goal of this mixed-methods study is to characterise changes to primary care access and patient outcomes following the rapid introduction of virtual care for PWOUD. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will use a fully integrated mixed-methods design comprised of three components: (a) qualitative interviews with family physicians and PWOUD to document experiences with delivering and accessing virtual visits, respectively; (b) quantitative analysis of linked, population-based administrative data to describe the uptake of virtual care, its impact on access to services and downstream outcomes for PWOUD; and (c) facilitated deliberative dialogues to co-create educational resources for family physicians, PWOUD and policymakers that promote equitable access to high-quality virtual primary care for this population. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Approval for this study has been granted by Research Ethics British Columbia. We will convene PWOUD and family physicians for deliberative dialogues to co-create educational materials and policy recommendations based on our findings. We will also disseminate findings via traditional academic outputs such as conferences and peer-reviewed publications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Primary Health Care
13.
J Addict Med ; 16(5): 584-587, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2051580

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to assess the feasibility of using a telemedicine bridge clinic model as a low-barrier mechanism to initiate patients on medication treatment for opioid use disorder (MOUD) while facilitating engagement in long-term treatment. METHODS: We established a telemedicine bridge clinic after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration temporarily suspended regulations limiting initial treatment of patients with buprenorphine via both audiovisual and audio-only technology during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The rate of engagement in medication treatment for opioid use disorder MOUD based upon review of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is described. Referral sources, technology utilization, and payer mix are also presented. RESULTS: The Bridge Clinic scheduled 208 new patient visits and physicians evaluated 200, a show rate of 96% from April 2020 to July 2021. Of the 200 patients who were treated, 192 (96%) were diagnosed with opioid use disorder. Most patients (159/200, 79%) scheduled audio-only visits. At least 1 prescription for buprenorphine was filled by 185/192 (96%) of opioid use disorder patients within 30 days of the telemedicine visit and 147/192 (77%) of patients filled 2 or more prescriptions. Most patients were covered by Medicaid (62%) or were uninsured (19%). There was no significant difference in outcomes for patients evaluated by audio-only vs. audiovisual techniques. CONCLUSION: A Bridge Clinic using audiovisual and audio-only telemedicine served a high-risk, vulnerable population and facilitated engagement in evidence-based MOUD.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs , Telemedicine , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Humans , Opiate Substitution Treatment/methods , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Telemedicine/methods , United States
14.
J Addict Med ; 16(5): 505-513, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2051577

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Among opioid use disorder (OUD)-treating providers, to characterize adaptations used to provide medications for OUD (MOUD) and factors associated with desire to continue virtual visits post-COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: In a national electronic survey of OUD-treating prescribers (July-August 2020), analyses restricted to X-waivered buprenorphine prescribers providing outpatient, longitudinal care for adults with OUD, quantitative and qualitative analyses of survey items and free text responses were conducted. RESULTS: Among 797 respondents, 49% were men, 57% ≥50 years, 76% White, 68% physicians. Respondents widely used virtual visits to continue prescribing existing MOUD regimens (79%), provide behavioral healthcare (71%), and initiate new MOUD prescriptions (49%). Most prescribers preferred to continue/expand use of virtual visits after COVID-19. In multivariable models, factors associated with preference to continue/expand virtual visits to initiate MOUD postpandemic were treating a moderate number of patients prepandemic (aOR = 1.67; 95%[CI] = 1.06,2.62) and practicing in an urban setting (aOR = 2.17; 95%[CI] = 1.48,3.18). Prescribing buprenorphine prepandemic (aOR = 2.06; 95%[CI] = 1.11,3.82) and working in an academic medical center (aOR = 2.47; 95%[CI] = 1.30,4.68) were associated with preference to continue/expand use of virtual visits to continue MOUD postpandemic. Prescribing naltrexone extended-release injection prepandemic was associated with preference to continue/expand virtual visits to initiate and continue MOUD (aOR = 1.51; 95%[CI] = 1.10,2.07; aOR = 1.74; 95%[CI] = 1.19,2.54). Qualitative findings suggest that providers appreciated virtual visits due to convenience and patient accessibility, but were concerned about liability and technological barriers. CONCLUSIONS: Surveyed prescribers widely used virtual visits to provide MOUD with overall positive experiences. Future studies should evaluate the impact of virtual visits on MOUD access and retention and clinical outcomes.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Adult , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Female , Humans , Male , Naltrexone/therapeutic use , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics
15.
Ann Med ; 54(1): 2692-2700, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2050860

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Implementing public health vending machines (PHVMs) is an evidence-based strategy for mitigating substance use-associated morbidity and mortality via the dispensation of essential supplies to people who use drugs, including overdose prevention resources. PHVMs have been implemented throughout the world; however, their implementation in the United States (US) is a recent phenomenon. In 2017, Trac-B Exchange (a syringe services program in Clark County, Nevada) installed three PHVMs. In 2019, naloxone dispensation was launched at PHVMs in Clark County. The purpose of this research is to examine the extent to which naloxone dispensation at PHVMs was associated with changes in opioid-involved overdose fatalities. METHODS: Monthly counts of opioid-involved overdose fatalities among Clark County residents that occurred from January 2015 to December 2020 were used to build an autoregressive integrated moving averages (ARIMA) model to measure the impact of naloxone dispensation at PHVMs. We forecasted the number of expected opioid-involved overdose fatalities had naloxone dispensation at PHVMs not occurred and compared to observed monthly counts. Interrupted time series analyses (ITSA) were used to evaluate the step (i.e. the immediate impact of naloxone dispensation at PHVMs on opioid-involved overdose fatalities) and slope change (i.e. changes in trend and directionality of monthly counts of opioid-involved overdose fatalities following naloxone dispensation at PHVMs). RESULTS: During the 12-months immediately following naloxone dispensation at PHVMs, our model forecasted 270 opioid-involved overdose fatalities, but death certificate data indicated only 229 occurred, suggesting an aversion of 41 deaths. ITSA identified a significant negative step change in opioid-involved overdose fatalities at the time naloxone dispensation at PHVMs was launched (B = -8.52, p = .0022) and a significant increasing slope change (B = 1.01, p<.0001). Forecasts that extended into the COVID-19 pandemic suggested worsening trends in overdose fatalities. CONCLUSION: Naloxone dispensation at PHVMs was associated with immediate reductions in opioid-involved overdose fatalities. Key MessagesNaloxone dispensation at PHVMs was associated with immediate reductions in opioid-involved overdose fatalities.Communities should consider implementing public health vending machines in efforts to prevent opioid-involved overdose fatalities.The COVID-19 pandemic worsened the overdose crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Nevada , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/prevention & control , Pandemics , Public Health , United States
16.
Am J Manag Care ; 28(9): 456-463, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2040694

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To learn how preferences and practices regarding telehealth have evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic for physicians who provide opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment. STUDY DESIGN: Publicly registered physicians who provide OUD treatment were surveyed on their current and retrospective use of telehealth and how their perception of telehealth effectiveness and policy preferences have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic as telehealth regulations were loosened throughout the country. METHODS: The primary survey data were collected in July 2020 leveraging administrative contact information for the population of publicly listed buprenorphine-prescribing physicians in the United States. A total of 1141 physicians received the survey and consented to participate. RESULTS: Many surveyed physicians used telehealth for the first time during the early COVID-19 era (29% pre-COVID-19 use rate increased to 66%). Most respondents found telehealth to be more effective than expected (54% vs 16% who found it less effective), 85% were in favor of the temporary telehealth flexibility being permanently extended, and 77% would be likely to use telehealth after the COVID-19 pandemic, regulations permitting. Imputation exercises that leverage the linked survey and administrative data suggest that the findings are unlikely to be driven by nonrandom survey participation. CONCLUSIONS: Physicians were asked about their OUD telehealth policy preferences. Findings suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic increased physician respondent use of telehealth technology, and this has positively shifted their perceptions of effectiveness. Respondents overwhelmingly report interest in post-COVID-19 pandemic telehealth use and support for proposed legislation to loosen telehealth restrictions.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Physicians , Telemedicine , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , United States
17.
CMAJ ; 194(36): E1233-E1242, 2022 Sep 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2039454

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: London InterCommunity Health Centre (LIHC) launched a safer opioid supply (SOS) program in 2016, where clients are prescribed pharmaceutical opioids and provided with comprehensive health and social supports. We sought to evaluate the impact of this program on health services utilization and health care costs. METHODS: We conducted an interrupted time series analysis of London, Ontario, residents who received a diagnosis of opioid use disorder (OUD) and who entered the SOS program between January 2016 and March 2019, and a comparison group of individuals matched on demographic and clinical characteristics who were not exposed to the program. Primary outcomes were emergency department (ED) visits, hospital admissions, admissions for infections and health care costs. We used autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models to evaluate the impact of SOS initiation and compared outcome rates in the year before and after cohort entry. RESULTS: In the time series analysis, rates of ED visits (-14 visits/100, 95% confidence interval [CI] -26 to -2; p = 0.02), hospital admissions (-5 admissions/100, 95% CI -9 to -2; p = 0.005) and health care costs not related to primary care or outpatient medications (-$922/person, 95% CI -$1577 to -$268; p = 0.008) declined significantly after entry into the SOS program (n = 82), with no significant change in rates of infections (-1.6 infections/100, 95% CI -4.0 to 0.8; p = 0.2). In the year after cohort entry, the rate of ED visits (rate ratio [RR] 0.69, 95% CI 0.53 to 0.90), hospital admissions (RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.74), admissions for incident infections (RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.96) and total health care costs not related to primary care or outpatient medications ($15 635 v. $7310/person-year; p = 0.002) declined significantly among SOS clients compared with the year before. We observed no significant change in any of the primary outcomes among unexposed individuals (n = 303). INTERPRETATION: Although additional research is needed, this preliminary evidence indicates that SOS programs can play an important role in the expansion of treatment and harm-reduction options available to assist people who use drugs and who are at high risk of drug poisoning.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Health Care Costs , Humans , Ontario/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Pharmaceutical Preparations
19.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 41(9): 1231-1237, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021989

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was slower growth in the number of new waivers authorizing clinicians to provide buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder. However, treatment capacity grew at a stable rate as a result of already authorized clinicians obtaining waivers for larger patient panels. Advanced practice nurses accounted for the largest portion of capacity growth during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics
20.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(8): e36555, 2022 08 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022357

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Opioid addiction is currently one of the most pressing public health issues. Despite several treatment options for opioid addiction, the recurrence of use episodes during remission remains high. Research indicates that meaningful membership in various social groups underpins the successful transition from addiction to long-term remission. However, much of the current literature focuses on online peer-support groups for individuals in remission from substance use, sometimes also called recovery groups, a term we will use in line with the terminology used by the online community we studied. In contrast, online group memberships that promote substance use and groups that are unrelated to substance use and remission (non-drug-related groups) are rarely studied. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to understand whether engagement with a variety of Reddit subforums (subreddits) provides those in remission from opioid use disorder (OUD) with social capital, thereby reducing their risk of a use episode over several years. More specifically, it aims to examine the different effects of engagement with substance use, recovery, and non-drug-related subreddits. METHODS: A data set of 457 individuals in remission from OUD who posted their remission start date on Reddit was collected, of whom 219 (47.9%) indicated at least one use episode during the remission period. Using a Cox proportional hazards model, the effects of the number of non-drug-related, recovery, and substance use subreddits an individual had engaged with on the risk of a use episode were tested. Group engagement was assessed both in terms of the absolute number of subreddits and as a proportion of the total number of subreddits in which an individual had posted. RESULTS: Engagement with a larger number of non-drug-related online communities reduced the likelihood of a use episode irrespective of the number of posts and comments made in these forums. This was true for both the absolute number of non-drug-related communities (P<.001) and the proportion of communities with which a person engaged (P<.001). The findings were less conclusive for recovery support and substance use groups; although participating in more recovery support subreddits reduced the risk of a use episode (P<.001), being part of a higher proportion of recovery support groups relative to other subreddits increased the risk (P=.01). A higher proportion of substance use subreddits marginally increased the risk of a use episode (P=.06); however, the absolute number of substance use subreddits significantly reduced the risk of a use episode (P=.002). CONCLUSIONS: Our work indicates that even minimal regular engagement with several non-drug-related online forums may provide those in remission from OUD with an opportunity to grow their social capital and reduce the risk of a use episode over several years.


Subject(s)
Opioid-Related Disorders , Social Capital , Social Media , Community Participation , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Public Health
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