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1.
Implement Sci ; 18(1): 22, 2023 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234358

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Deimplementation, the removal or reduction of potentially hazardous approaches to care, is key to progressing social equity in health. While the benefits of opioid agonist treatment (OAT) are well-evidenced, wide variability in the provision of treatment attenuates positive outcomes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, OAT services deimplemented aspects of provision which had long been central to treatment in Australia; supervised dosing, urine drug screening, and frequent in-person attendance for review. This analysis explored how providers considered social inequity in health of patients in the deimplementation of restrictive OAT provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Between August and December 2020, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 29 OAT providers in Australia. Codes relating to the social determinants of client retention in OAT were clustered according to how providers considered deimplementation in relation to social inequities. Normalisation Process Theory was then used to analyse the clusters in relation to how providers understood their work during the COVID-19 pandemic as responding to systemic issues that condition OAT access. RESULTS: We explored four overarching themes based on constructs from Normalisation Process Theory: adaptive execution, cognitive participation, normative restructuring, and sustainment. Accounts of adaptive execution demonstrated tensions between providers' conceptions of equity and patient autonomy. Cognitive participation and normative restructuring were integral to the workability of rapid and drastic changes within the OAT services. Key transformative actors included communities of practice and "thought leaders" who had long supported deimplementation for more humane care. At this early stage of the pandemic, providers had already begun to consider how this period could inform sustainment of deimplementation. When considering a future, post-pandemic period, several providers expressed discomfort at operating with "evidence-enough" and called for narrowly defined types of data on adverse events (e.g. overdose) and expert consensus on takeaway doses. CONCLUSIONS: The possibilities for achieving social equity in health are limited by the divergent treatment goals of providers and people receiving OAT. Sustained and equitable deimplementation of obtrusive aspects of OAT provision require co-created treatment goals, patient-centred monitoring and evaluation, and access to a supportive community of practice for providers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Methadone/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Pandemics
2.
PLoS One ; 18(6): e0286859, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234179

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Regulatory changes made during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) that relaxed criteria for take-home dosing (THD) of methadone offer an opportunity to improve quality of care with a lifesaving treatment. There is a pressing need for research to study the long-term effects of the new PHE THD rules and to test data-driven interventions to promote more effective adoption by opioid treatment programs (OTPs). We propose a two-phase project to develop and test a multidimensional intervention for OTPs that leverages information from large State administrative data. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We propose a two-phased project to develop then test a multidimensional OTP intervention to address clinical decision making, regulatory confusion, legal liability concerns, capacity for clinical practice change, and financial barriers to THD. The intervention will include OTP THD specific dashboards drawn from multiple State databases. The approach will be informed by the Health Equity Implementation Framework (HEIF). In phase 1, we will employ an explanatory sequential mixed methods design to combine analysis of large state administrative databases-Medicaid, treatment registry, THD reporting-with qualitative interviews to develop and refine the intervention. In phase 2, we will conduct a stepped-wedge trial over three years with 36 OTPs randomized to 6 cohorts of a six-month clinic-level intervention. The trial will test intervention effects on OTP-level implementation outcomes and patient outcomes (1) THD use; 2) retention in care; and 3) adverse healthcare events). We will specifically examine intervention effects for Black and Latinx clients. A concurrent triangulation mixed methods design will be used: quantitative and qualitative data collection will occur concurrently and results will be integrated after analysis of each. We will employ generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) in the analysis of stepped-wedge trials. The primary outcome will be weekly or greater THD. The semi-structured interviews will be transcribed and analyzed with Dedoose to identify key facilitators, barriers, and experiences according to HEIF constructs using directed content analysis. DISCUSSION: This multi-phase, embedded mixed methods project addresses a critical need to support long-term practice changes in methadone treatment for opioid use disorder following systemic changes emerging from the PHE-particularly for Black and Latinx individuals with opioid use disorder. By combining findings from analyses of large administrative data with lessons gleaned from qualitative interviews of OTPs that were flexible with THD and those that were not, we will build and test the intervention to coach clinics to increase flexibility with THD. The findings will inform policy at the local and national level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Methadone/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Research Design , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
3.
JAMA Netw Open ; 6(6): e2314925, 2023 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234121

ABSTRACT

Importance: In 2021, more than 80 000 US residents died from an opioid overdose. Public health intervention initiatives, such as the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEALing) Communities Study (HCS), are being launched with the goal of reducing opioid-related overdose deaths (OODs). Objective: To estimate the change in the projected number of OODs under different scenarios of the duration of sustainment of interventions, compared with the status quo. Design, Setting, and Participants: This decision analytical model simulated the opioid epidemic in the 4 states participating in the HCS (ie, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio) from 2020 to 2026. Participants were a simulated population transitioning from opioid misuse to opioid use disorder (OUD), overdose, treatment, and relapse. The model was calibrated using 2015 to 2020 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other sources for each state. The model accounts for reduced initiation of medications for OUD (MOUDs) and increased OODs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Exposure: Increasing MOUD initiation by 2- or 5-fold, improving MOUD retention to the rates achieved in clinical trial settings, increasing naloxone distribution efforts, and furthering safe opioid prescribing. An initial 2-year duration of interventions was simulated, with potential sustainment for up to 3 additional years. Main Outcomes and Measures: Projected reduction in number of OODs under different combinations and durations of sustainment of interventions. Results: Compared with the status quo, the estimated annual reduction in OODs at the end of the second year of interventions was 13% to 17% in Kentucky, 17% to 27% in Massachusetts, 15% to 22% in New York, and 15% to 22% in Ohio. Sustaining all interventions for an additional 3 years was estimated to reduce the annual number of OODs at the end of the fifth year by 18% to 27% in Kentucky, 28% to 46% in Massachusetts, 22% to 34% in New York, and 25% to 41% in Ohio. The longer the interventions were sustained, the better the outcomes; however, these positive gains would be washed out if interventions were not sustained. Conclusions and Relevance: In this decision analytical model study of the opioid epidemic in 4 US states, sustained implementation of interventions, including increased delivery of MOUDs and naloxone supply, was found to be needed to reduce OODs and prevent deaths from increasing again.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opiate Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Analgesics, Opioid/toxicity , COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Opiate Overdose/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/prevention & control , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Public Health
4.
J Psychopharmacol ; 37(5): 437-448, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233017

ABSTRACT

The opioid crisis' pathways from first exposure onwards to eventual illnesses and fatalities are multiple, intertwined and difficult to dissect. Here, we offer a multidisciplinary appraisal of the relationships among mental health, chronic pain, prescribing patterns worldwide and the opioid crisis. Because the opioid crisis' toll is especially harsh on young people, emphasis is given on data regarding the younger strata of the population. Because analgesic opioid prescription constitute a recognised entry point towards misuse, opioid use disorder, and ultimately overdose, prescribing patterns across different countries are examined as a modifiable hazard factor along these pathways of risk. Psychiatrists are called to play a more compelling role in this urgent conversation, as they are uniquely placed to provide synthesis and lead action among the different fields of knowledge and care that lie at the crossroads of the opioid crisis. Psychiatrists are also ideally positioned to gauge and disseminate the foundations for diagnosis and clinical management of mental conditions associated with chronic pain, including the identification of hazardous and protective factors. It is our hope to spark more interdisciplinary exchanges and encourage psychiatrists worldwide to become leaders in an urgent conversation with interlocutors from the clinical and basic sciences, policy makers and stakeholders including clients and their families.


Subject(s)
Chronic Pain , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Adolescent , Chronic Pain/drug therapy , Mental Health , Opioid Epidemic , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Practice Patterns, Physicians'
5.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 23(1): 553, 2023 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240897

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To support public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, oral opioid agonist treatment (OAT) take-home doses were expanded in Western countries with positive results. Injectable OAT (iOAT) take-home doses were previously not an eligible option, and were made available for the first time in several sites to align with public health measures. Building upon these temporary risk-mitigating guidelines, a clinic in Vancouver, BC continued to offer two of a possible three daily doses of take-home injectable medications to eligible clients. The present study explores the processes through which take-home iOAT doses impacted clients' quality of life and continuity of care in real-life settings. METHODS: Three rounds of semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted over a period of seventeen months beginning in July 2021 with eleven participants receiving iOAT take-home doses at a community clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia. Interviews followed a topic guide that evolved iteratively in response to emerging lines of inquiry. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and then coded using NVivo 1.6 using an interpretive description approach. RESULTS: Participants reported that take-home doses granted them the freedom away from the clinic to have daily routines, form plans, and enjoy unstructured time. Participants appreciated the greater privacy, accessibility, and ability to engage in paid work. Furthermore, participants enjoyed greater autonomy to manage their medication and level of engagement with the clinic. These factors contributed to greater quality of life and continuity of care. Participants shared that their dose was too essential to divert and that they felt safe transporting and administering their medication off-site. In the future, all participants would like more accessible treatment such as access longer take-home prescriptions (e.g., one week), the ability to pick-up at different and convenient locations (e.g., community pharmacies), and a medication delivery service. CONCLUSIONS: Reducing the number of daily onsite injections from two or three to only one revealed the diversity of rich and nuanced needs that added flexibility and accessibility in iOAT can meet. Actions such as licencing diverse opioid medications/formulations, medication pick-up at community pharmacies, and a community of practice that supports clinical decisions are necessary to increase take-home iOAT accessibility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Quality of Life , COVID-19/epidemiology , British Columbia , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/prevention & control
6.
J Addict Med ; 17(3): e156-e163, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237760

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Individuals in recovery from opioid use disorder (OUD) are vulnerable to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent findings suggest increased relapse risk and overdose linked to COVID-19-related stressors. We aimed to identify individual-level factors associated with COVID-19-related impacts on recovery. METHODS: This observational study (NCT04577144) enrolled 216 participants who previously partook in long-acting buprenorphine subcutaneous injection clinical trials (2015-2017) for OUD. Participants indicated how COVID-19 affected their recovery from substance use. A machine learning approach Classification and Regression Tree analysis examined the association of 28 variables with the impact of COVID-19 on recovery, including demographics, substance use, and psychosocial factors. Ten-fold cross-validation was used to minimize overfitting. RESULTS: Twenty-six percent of the sample reported that COVID-19 had made recovery somewhat or much harder. Past-month opioid use was higher among those who reported that recovery was harder compared with those who did not (51% vs 24%, respectively; P < 0.001). The final classification tree (overall accuracy, 80%) identified the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) as the strongest independent risk factor associated with reporting COVID-19 impact. Individuals with a BDI-II score ≥10 had 6.45 times greater odds of negative impact (95% confidence interval, 3.29-13.30) relative to those who scored <10. Among individuals with higher BDI-II scores, less progress in managing substance use and treatment of OUD within the past 2 to 3 years were also associated with negative impacts. CONCLUSIONS: These findings underscore the importance of monitoring depressive symptoms and perceived progress in managing substance use among those in recovery from OUD, particularly during large-magnitude crises.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Pandemics , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/psychology , Opiate Substitution Treatment
7.
Int J Drug Policy ; 116: 104032, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2327290

ABSTRACT

Public transport disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had wide-ranging impacts on the ability of individuals to access health care. Individuals with opioid use disorder represent an especially vulnerable population due to the necessity of frequent, supervised doses of opioid agonists. Focused on Toronto, a major Canadian city suffering from the opioid epidemic, this analysis uses novel realistic routing methodologies to quantify how travel times to individuals\220 nearest clinics changed due to public transport disruptions from 2019 to 2020. Individuals seeking opioid agonist treatment face very constrained windows of access due to the need to manage work and other essential activities. We find that thousands of households in the most materially and socially deprived neighbourhoods crossed 30 and 20-minute travel time thresholds to their nearest clinic. As even small changes to travel times can lead to missed appointments and heighten the chances of overdose and death, understanding the distribution of those most impacted can help inform future policy measures to ensure adequate access to care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Opioid Epidemic , Pandemics , Canada , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/drug therapy
8.
JAMA Netw Open ; 6(5): e2314328, 2023 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2326618

ABSTRACT

Importance: A significant proportion of Medicare beneficiaries have a diagnosed opioid use disorder (OUD). Methadone and buprenorphine are both effective medications for the treatment of OUD (MOUDs); however, Medicare did not cover methadone until 2020. Objective: To examine trends in methadone and buprenorphine dispensing among Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollees after 2 policy changes in 2020 related to methadone access. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional analysis of temporal trends in methadone and buprenorphine treatment dispensing assessed MA beneficiary claims from January 1, 2019, through March 31, 2022, captured by Optum's Clinformatics Data Mart. Of 9 870 791 MA enrollees included in the database, 39 252 had at least 1 claim for methadone, buprenorphine, or both during the study period. All available MA enrollees were included. Subanalyses by age and dual eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid status were conducted. Exposures: Study exposures were (1) the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare bundled payment reimbursement policy for OUD treatment and (2) the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration and CMS Medicare policies designed to facilitate access to treatment for OUD, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Main Outcomes and Measures: Study outcomes were trends in methadone and buprenorphine dispensing by beneficiary characteristics. National methadone and buprenorphine dispensing rates were calculated as claims-based dispensing rates per 1000 MA enrollees. Results: Among the 39 252 MA enrollees with at least 1 MOUD dispensing claim (mean age, 58.6 [95% CI, 58.57-58.62] years; 45.9% female), 195 196 methadone claims and 540 564 buprenorphine pharmacy claims were identified, for a total of 735 760 dispensing claims. The methadone dispensing rate for MA enrollees was 0 in 2019 because the policy did not allow any payment until 2020. Claims rates per 1000 MA enrollees were low initially, increasing from 0.98 in the first quarter of 2020 to 4.71 in the first quarter of 2022. Increases were primarily associated with dually eligible beneficiaries and beneficiaries younger than 65 years. National buprenorphine dispensing rates were 4.64 per 1000 enrollees in quarter 1 of 2019, increasing to 7.45 per 1000 enrollees in quarter 1 of 2022. Conclusions and Relevance: This cross-sectional study found that methadone dispensing increased among Medicare beneficiaries after the policy changes. Rates of buprenorphine dispensing did not provide evidence that beneficiaries substituted buprenorphine for methadone. The 2 new CMS policies represent an important first step in increasing access to MOUD treatment for Medicare beneficiaries.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Medicare Part C , Opioid-Related Disorders , Aged , Humans , Female , United States , Middle Aged , Male , Methadone/therapeutic use , Cross-Sectional Studies , Pandemics , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Policy
9.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 888, 2023 05 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2326158

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Opioid overdose epidemic is a public health crisis that is impacting communities around the world. Overdose education and naloxone distribution programs equip and train lay people to respond in the event of an overdose. We aimed to understand factors to consider for the design of naloxone distribution programs in point-of-care settings from the point of view of community stakeholders. METHODS: We hosted a multi-stakeholder co-design workshop to elicit suggestions for a naloxone distribution program. We recruited people with lived experience of opioid overdose, community representatives, and other stakeholders from family practice, emergency medicine, addictions medicine, and public health to participate in a full-day facilitated co-design discussion wherein large and small group discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic approaches. RESULTS: A total of twenty-four participants participated in the multi-stakeholder workshop from five stakeholder groups including geographic and setting diversity. Collaborative dialogue and shared storytelling revealed seven considerations for the design of naloxone distribution programs specific to training needs and the provision of naloxone, these are: recognizing overdose, how much naloxone, impact of stigma, legal risk of responding, position as conventional first aid, friends and family as responders, support to call 911. CONCLUSION: To create an naloxone distribution program in emergency departments, family practice and substance use treatment services, stigma is a central design consideration for training and naloxone kits. Design choices that reference the iconography, type, and form of materials associated with first aid have the potential to satisfy the need to de-stigmatize overdose response.


Subject(s)
Drug Overdose , Opiate Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opiate Overdose/complications , Opiate Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use
10.
JAMA Health Forum ; 4(5): e231018, 2023 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325405

ABSTRACT

Importance: Addiction treatment rapidly transitioned to a primarily telehealth modality (telephone and video) during the COVID-19 pandemic, raising concerns about disparities in utilization. Objective: To examine whether there were differences in overall and telehealth addiction treatment utilization after telehealth policy changes during the COVID-19 pandemic by age, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study examined electronic health record and claims data from Kaiser Permanente Northern California for adults (age ≥18 years) with drug use problems before the COVID-19 pandemic (from March 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019) and during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020; hereafter referred to as COVID-19 onset). Analyses were conducted between March 2021 and March 2023. Exposure: The expansion of telehealth services during COVID-19 onset. Main Outcomes and Measures: Generalized estimating equation models were fit to compare addiction treatment utilization during COVID-19 onset with that before the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilization measures included the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set of treatment initiation and engagement (including inpatient, outpatient, and telehealth encounters or receipt of medication for opioid use disorder [OUD]), 12-week retention (days in treatment), and OUD pharmacotherapy retention. Telehealth treatment initiation and engagement were also examined. Differences in changes in utilization by age group, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES) were examined. Results: Among the 19 648 participants in the pre-COVID-19 cohort (58.5% male; mean [SD] age, 41.0 [17.5] years), 1.6% were American Indian or Alaska Native; 7.5%, Asian or Pacific Islander; 14.3%, Black; 20.8%, Latino or Hispanic; 53.4%, White; and 2.5%, unknown race. Among the 16 959 participants in the COVID-19 onset cohort (56.5% male; mean [SD] age, 38.9 [16.3] years), 1.6% were American Indian or Alaska Native; 7.4%, Asian or Pacific Islander; 14.6%, Black; 22.2%, Latino or Hispanic; 51.0%, White; and 3.2%, unknown race. Odds of overall treatment initiation increased from before the COVID-19 pandemic to COVID-19 onset for all age, race, ethnicity, and SES subgroups except for patients aged 50 years or older; patients aged 18 to 34 years had the greatest increases (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.31; 95% CI, 1.22-1.40). Odds of telehealth treatment initiation increased for all patient subgroups without variation by race, ethnicity, or SES, although increases were greater for patients aged 18 to 34 years (aOR, 7.17; 95% CI, 6.24-8.24). Odds of overall treatment engagement increased (aOR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03-1.24) without variation by patient subgroups. Retention increased by 1.4 days (95% CI, 0.6-2.2 days), and OUD pharmacotherapy retention did not change (adjusted mean difference, -5.2 days; 95% CI, -12.7 to 2.4 days). Conclusions: In this cohort study of insured adults with drug use problems, there were increases in overall and telehealth addiction treatment utilization after telehealth policies changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was no evidence that disparities were exacerbated, and younger adults may have particularly benefited from the transition to telehealth.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Telemedicine , Adult , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Female , Ethnicity , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Pandemics , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , California/epidemiology , Social Class
11.
J Stud Alcohol Drugs ; 84(2): 222-229, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314610

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected people's ability to buy, sell, and obtain items that they use in their daily lives. It may have had a particularly negative effect on the ability of people who use illicit opioids to obtain them because the networks they relied on are illicit and not part of the formal economy. Our objective in this research was to examine if, and how, disruptions related to COVID-19 of illicit opioid markets have affected people who use illicit opioids. METHOD: We collected 300 posts--including replies to posts--related to the intersection of COVID-19 and opioid use from Reddit.com, a forum that has several discussion threads (i.e., subreddits) dedicated to opioids. We then coded posts from the two most popular opioid subreddits during the early pandemic period (March 5, 2020-May 13, 2020) using an inductive/deductive approach. RESULTS: We found two themes related to active opioid use during the early pandemic: (a) changes in drug supply and difficulty obtaining opioids, and (b) buying less-trustworthy drugs from lesser-known sources. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that COVID-19 has created market conditions that place people who use opioids at risk of adverse outcomes, such as fatal overdose.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Illicit Drugs , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy
12.
Subst Use Misuse ; 58(9): 1143-1151, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2312818

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a marked increase in telehealth for the provision of primary care-based opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment. This mixed methods study examines characteristics associated with having the majority of OUD-related visits via telehealth versus in-person, and changes in mode of delivery (in-person, telephone, video) over time. Methods: Logistic regression was performed using electronic health record data from patients with ≥1 visit with an OUD diagnosis to ≥1 of the two study clinics (Rural Health Clinic; urban Federally Qualified Health Center) and ≥1 OUD medication ordered from 3/8/2020-9/1/2021, with >50% of OUD visits via telehealth (vs. >50% in-person) as the dependent variable and patient characteristics as independent variables. Changes in visit type over time were also examined. Inductive coding was used to analyze data from interviews with clinical team members (n = 10) who provide OUD care to understand decision-making around visit type. Results: New patients (vs. returning; OR = 0.47;95%CI:0.27-0.83), those with ≥1 psychiatric diagnosis (vs. none; OR = 0.49,95%CI:0.29-0.82), and rural clinic patients (vs. urban; OR = 0.05; 95%CI:0.03-0.08) had lower odds of having the majority of visits via telehealth than in-person. Patterns of visit type varied over time by clinic, with the majority of telehealth visits delivered via telephone. Team members described flexibility for patients as a key telehealth benefit, but described in-person visits as more conducive to building rapport with new patients and those with increased psychological burden. Conclusion: Understanding how and why telehealth is used for OUD treatment is critical for ensuring access to care and informing OUD-related policy decisions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Telemedicine , Humans , Pandemics , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Primary Health Care
13.
Int J Drug Policy ; 117: 104058, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2312175

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Historical restrictions on take-home medications for opioid use disorder have generated considerable debate. The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the perceived risks and benefits of daily clinic attendance and led to widespread policy reform, creating an unprecedented opportunity to explore the impact of more flexible prescribing. We conducted a qualitative systematic review to synthesize the evidence on providers' experiences with relaxing restrictions on take-home doses of medications prescribed for opioid use disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: The protocol for this systematic review was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42022360589; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/). From Sept.-Nov. 2022, we searched Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycInfo, Web of Science, the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials, and the grey literature from 2020 onward. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they used qualitative methods to investigate providers' experiences with relaxed restrictions on take-home medications for opioid use disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic. We appraised study quality using the CASP qualitative checklist and used thematic synthesis and GRADE-CERQual to synthesize the results. RESULTS: We retrieved 13 articles representing 11 studies. Six were conducted in the United States and most focused on changes to methadone treatment. Providers' experiences with increased flexibilities around take-homes were broadly positive, despite widespread initial concern over client safety and the potential for medication misuse. For a small number of providers, concerns about diversion were a specific manifestation of more general unease with loss of control over clients and the treatment process. Most providers appreciated increased flexibilities and described them as enabling more individualized, person-centered care. CONCLUSION: Our findings support the continuation of flexibilities around take-homes and demonstrate that regulations and policies that reduce flexibility around take-homes conflict with person-centered approaches to care. Stronger guidance and support from professional regulatory agencies may help increase uptake of flexibilities around take-homes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , United States , Pandemics , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy
14.
J Addict Nurs ; 33(4): 271-279, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2309784

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: In 2018, more than 67,000 people died because of drug overdoses, and of that number, approximately 69.5% involved an opioid, making it a leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally concerning is that 40 states have reported increased overdose deaths and opioid-related deaths since the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Presently, many insurance companies and healthcare providers require patients to receive counseling during medication treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), despite the lack of evidence that it is necessary for all patients. To inform policy and improve quality of treatment, this nonexperimental, correlational study examined the relationship between individual counseling status and treatment outcomes in patients receiving medication treatment for OUD. Treatment outcome variables (treatment utilization, medication use, and opioid use) were extracted from the electronic health records of 669 adults who received treatment between January 2016 and January 2018. Study findings suggest women in our sample were more likely to test positive for benzodiazepines (t = -4.3, p < .001) and amphetamines (t = -4.4, p < .001), whereas men used alcohol at higher rates than women (t = 2.2, p = .026). In addition, women were more likely to report having experienced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder/trauma (χ2 = 16.5, p < .001) and anxiety (χ2 = 9.4, p = .002). Regression analyses revealed concurrent counseling was unrelated to medication utilization and ongoing opioid use. Patients who had prior counseling utilized buprenorphine more frequently (ß = 0.13, p < .001) and used opioids less often (ß = -0.14, p < .001); however, both relationships were weak. These data do not provide evidence that counseling during OUD outpatient has a significant impact on treatment outcomes. These findings provide further evidence that barriers to medication treatment such as mandatory counseling can and should be removed.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Male , Adult , Humans , United States , Female , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Counseling
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(7)2023 03 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2305821

ABSTRACT

The opioid epidemic has continued to be an ongoing public health crisis within Metro Atlanta for the last three decades. However, estimating opioid use and exposure in a large population is almost impossible, and alternative methods are being explored, including wastewater-based epidemiology. Wastewater contains various contaminants that can be monitored to track pathogens, infectious diseases, viruses, opioids, and more. This commentary is focusing on two issues: use of opioid residue data in wastewater as an alternative method for opioid exposure assessment in the community, and the adoption of a streamlined approach that can be utilized by public health officials. Opioid metabolites travel through the sanitary sewer through urine, fecal matter, and improper disposal of opioids to local wastewater treatment plants. Public health officials and researchers within various entities have utilized numerous approaches to reduce the impacts associated with opioid use. National wastewater monitoring programs and wastewater-based epidemiology are approaches that have been utilized globally by researchers and public health officials to combat the opioid epidemic. Currently, public health officials and policy makers within Metro Atlanta are exploring different solutions to reduce opioid use and opioid-related deaths throughout the community. In this commentary, we are proposing a new innovative approach for monitoring opioid use and analyzing trends by utilizing wastewater-based epidemiologic methods, which may help public health officials worldwide manage the opioid epidemic in a large metro area in the future.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Georgia/epidemiology , Wastewater , Opioid Epidemic , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy
16.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 23(1): 370, 2023 Apr 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2293593

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emergency Departments (EDs) have become critical 'touchpoints' for the identification and early engagement of patients at risk of overdose or who have an opioid use disorder (OUD). Our objectives were to examine patients' ED experiences, identify barriers and facilitators of service uptake in ED settings, and explore patients' experiences with ED staff. METHODS: This qualitative study was part of a randomized controlled trial that evaluated the effectiveness of clinical social workers and certified peer recovery specialists in increasing treatment uptake and reducing opioid overdose rates for people with OUD. Between September 2019 and March 2020, semi-structured interviews were conducted 19 participants from the trial. Interviews sought to assess participants' ED care experiences across intervention type (i.e., clinical social worker or peer recovery specialist). Participants were purposively sampled across intervention arm (social work, n = 11; peer recovery specialist, n = 7; control, n = 1). Data were analyzed thematically with a focus on participant experiences in the ED and social and structural factors shaping care experiences and service utilization. RESULTS: Participants reported varied ED experiences, including instances of discrimination and stigma due to their substance use. However, participants underscored the need for increased engagement of people with lived experience in ED settings, including the use of peer recovery specialists. Participants highlighted that ED provider interactions were critical drivers of shaping care and service utilization and needed to be improved across EDs to improve post-overdose care. CONCLUSIONS: While the ED provides an opportunity to reach patients at risk of overdose, our results demonstrate how ED-based interactions and service provision can impact ED care engagement and service utilization. Modifications to care delivery may improve experiences for patients with OUD or at high risk for overdose. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical trial registration: NCT03684681.


Subject(s)
Drug Overdose , Opiate Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Opiate Overdose/drug therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital , Opioid-Related Disorders/therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Qualitative Research , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use
17.
Nurs Clin North Am ; 58(2): 165-181, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2292633

ABSTRACT

In the United States, the opioid epidemic and COVID-19-related substance use have exacerbated the overall incidence of substance use disorders (SUDs). Medication-assisted therapy (MAT), or cognitive and behavioral therapy that combines medications that reduce substance use or acute withdrawal symptoms, has dramatically improved outcomes for SUD patients, including preventing mortality. With recent US Congressional funding for MAT, patients presenting for acute care on MAT-related medications will continue to increase. Nurses should be aware of these medications' mechanism of action, typical side effects, and implications on treating acute pain to optimize their care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , United States , Behavior Therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy
19.
Behav Brain Res ; 448: 114441, 2023 06 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2292068

ABSTRACT

Opioid misuse has dramatically increased over the last few decades resulting in many people suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD). The prevalence of opioid overdose has been driven by the development of new synthetic opioids, increased availability of prescription opioids, and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Coinciding with increases in exposure to opioids, the United States has also observed increases in multiple Narcan (naloxone) administrations as a life-saving measures for respiratory depression, and, thus, consequently, naloxone-precipitated withdrawal. Sleep dysregulation is a main symptom of OUD and opioid withdrawal syndrome, and therefore, should be a key facet of animal models of OUD. Here we examine the effect of precipitated and spontaneous morphine withdrawal on sleep behaviors in C57BL/6 J mice. We find that morphine administration and withdrawal dysregulate sleep, but not equally across morphine exposure paradigms. Furthermore, many environmental triggers promote relapse to drug-seeking/taking behavior, and the stress of disrupted sleep may fall into that category. We find that sleep deprivation dysregulates sleep in mice that had previous opioid withdrawal experience. Our data suggest that the 3-day precipitated withdrawal paradigm has the most profound effects on opioid-induced sleep dysregulation and further validates the construct of this model for opioid dependence and OUD.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Morphine Dependence , Opioid-Related Disorders , Substance Withdrawal Syndrome , Male , Female , Mice , Animals , Humans , Morphine/adverse effects , Analgesics, Opioid/pharmacology , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Narcotic Antagonists/pharmacology , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Naloxone/pharmacology , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Narcotics/adverse effects , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Sleep , Substance Withdrawal Syndrome/drug therapy , Morphine Dependence/drug therapy
20.
Harm Reduct J ; 20(1): 51, 2023 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2297038

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, overdose rates in North America have continued to rise, with more than 100,000 drug poisoning deaths in the past year. Amidst an increasingly toxic drug supply, the pandemic disrupted essential substance use treatment and harm reduction services that reduce overdose risk for people who use drugs. In British Columbia, one such treatment is injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT), the supervised dispensation of injectable hydromorphone or diacetylmorphine for people with opioid use disorder. While evidence has shown iOAT to be safe and effective, it is intensive and highly regimented, characterized by daily clinic visits and provider-client interaction-treatment components made difficult by the pandemic. METHODS: Between April 2020 and February 2021, we conducted 51 interviews with 18 iOAT clients and two clinic nurses to understand how the pandemic shaped iOAT access and treatment experiences. To analyze interview data, we employed a multi-step, flexible coding strategy, an iterative and abductive approach to analysis, using NVivo software. RESULTS: Qualitative analysis revealed the ways in which the pandemic shaped clients' lives and the provision of iOAT care. First, client narratives illuminated how the pandemic reinforced existing inequities. For example, socioeconomically marginalized clients expressed concerns around their financial stability and economic impacts on their communities. Second, clients with health comorbidities recognized how the pandemic amplified health risks, through potential COVID-19 exposure or by limiting social connection and mental health supports. Third, clients described how the pandemic changed their engagement with the iOAT clinic and medication. For instance, clients noted that physical distancing guidelines and occupancy limits reduced opportunities for social connection with staff and other iOAT clients. However, pandemic policies also created opportunities to adapt treatment in ways that increased patient trust and autonomy, for example through more flexible medication regimens and take-home oral doses. CONCLUSION: Participant narratives underscored the unequal distribution of pandemic impacts for people who use drugs but also highlighted opportunities for more flexible, patient-centered treatment approaches. Across treatment settings, pandemic-era changes that increase client autonomy and ensure equitable access to care are to be continued and expanded, beyond the duration of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Public Health , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology
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