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1.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(12): e30753, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593102

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Expanding access to and use of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) is a key component of overdose prevention. An important barrier to the uptake of MOUD is exposure to inaccurate and potentially harmful health misinformation on social media or web-based forums where individuals commonly seek information. There is a significant need to devise computational techniques to describe the prevalence of web-based health misinformation related to MOUD to facilitate mitigation efforts. OBJECTIVE: By adopting a multidisciplinary, mixed methods strategy, this paper aims to present machine learning and natural language analysis approaches to identify the characteristics and prevalence of web-based misinformation related to MOUD to inform future prevention, treatment, and response efforts. METHODS: The team harnessed public social media posts and comments in the English language from Twitter (6,365,245 posts), YouTube (99,386 posts), Reddit (13,483,419 posts), and Drugs-Forum (5549 posts). Leveraging public health expert annotations on a sample of 2400 of these social media posts that were found to be semantically most similar to a variety of prevailing opioid use disorder-related myths based on representational learning, the team developed a supervised machine learning classifier. This classifier identified whether a post's language promoted one of the leading myths challenging addiction treatment: that the use of agonist therapy for MOUD is simply replacing one drug with another. Platform-level prevalence was calculated thereafter by machine labeling all unannotated posts with the classifier and noting the proportion of myth-indicative posts over all posts. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate promise in identifying social media postings that center on treatment myths about opioid use disorder with an accuracy of 91% and an area under the curve of 0.9, including how these discussions vary across platforms in terms of prevalence and linguistic characteristics, with the lowest prevalence on web-based health communities such as Reddit and Drugs-Forum and the highest on Twitter. Specifically, the prevalence of the stated MOUD myth ranged from 0.4% on web-based health communities to 0.9% on Twitter. CONCLUSIONS: This work provides one of the first large-scale assessments of a key MOUD-related myth across multiple social media platforms and highlights the feasibility and importance of ongoing assessment of health misinformation related to addiction treatment.


Subject(s)
Opioid-Related Disorders , Social Media , Communication , Humans , Machine Learning , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Prevalence
5.
Addict Sci Clin Pract ; 16(1): 68, 2021 11 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515451

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted a significant toll on the lives of people who use opioids (PWUOs). At the same time, more flexible regulations around provision of opioid use disorder (OUD) services have led to new opportunities for facilitating access to services for PWUOs. In the current scoping review, we describe new services and service modifications implemented by treatment and harm reduction programs serving PWUO, and discuss implications for policy and practice. METHODS: Literature searches were conducted within PubMed, LitCovid, Embase, and PsycInfo for English-language studies published in 2020 that describe a particular program, service, or intervention aimed at facilitating access to OUD treatment and/or harm reduction services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Abstracts were independently screened by two reviewers. Relevant studies were reviewed in full and those that met inclusion criteria underwent final data extraction and synthesis (n = 25). We used a narrative synthesis approach to identify major themes around key service modifications and innovations implemented across programs serving PWUO. RESULTS: Reviewed OUD treatment and harm reduction services spanned five continents and a range of settings from substance use treatment to street outreach programs. Innovative service modifications to adapt to COVID-19 circumstances primarily involved expanded use of telehealth services (e.g., telemedicine visits for buprenorphine, virtual individual or group therapy sessions, provision of donated or publicly available phones), increased take-home medication allowances for methadone and buprenorphine, expanded uptake of long-acting opioid medications (e.g. extended-release buprenorphine and naltrexone), home delivery of services (e.g. MOUD, naloxone and urine drug screening), outreach and makeshift services for delivering MOUD and naloxone, and provision of a safe supply of opioids. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed multiple challenges for PWUOs, while simultaneously accelerating innovations in policies, care models, and technologies to lower thresholds for life-saving treatment and harm reduction services. Such innovations highlight novel patient-centered and feasible approaches to mitigating OUD related harms. Further studies are needed to assess the long-term impact of these approaches and inform policies that improve access to care for PWUOs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Harm Reduction , Humans , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy ; 16(1): 78, 2021 10 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477437

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Expanding access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), such as buprenorphine and extended release (XR) naltrexone, is critical to addressing the US opioid epidemic, but little is known about prescriber satisfaction with delivering these two types of MOUD. The current study describes the satisfaction of prescribers delivering buprenorphine and XR-naltrexone while examining whether satisfaction is associated with current patient census and organizational environment. METHODS: As part of a cluster randomized clinical trial (RCT) focused on expanding access to medication for opioid use disorder, 41 MOUD prescribers in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin completed a web-based survey. The survey included measures of prescriber satisfaction with delivering buprenorphine treatment and XR-naltrexone. In addition, the survey measured several prescriber characteristics and their perceptions of the organizational environment. RESULTS: Prescribers were generally satisfied with their work in delivering these two types of MOUD. Prescribers reporting a greater number of patients (r = .46, p = .006), those who would recommend the center to others (r = .56, p < .001), and those reporting positive relationships with staff (r = .56, p < .001) reported significantly greater overall satisfaction with delivering buprenorphine treatment. Prescribers who more strongly endorsed feeling overburdened reported lower overall buprenorphine satisfaction (r = -.37, p = .02). None of the prescriber characteristics or perceptions of the organizational environment were significantly associated with overall satisfaction with delivering XR-naltrexone treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The generally high levels of satisfaction with both types of MOUD is notable given that prescriber dissatisfaction can lead to turnover and impact intentions to leave the profession. Future research should continue to explore the prescriber characteristics and organizational factors associated with satisfaction in providing different types of MOUD. REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov. NCT02926482. Date of registration: September 9, 2016. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02926482 .


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Humans , Naltrexone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Personal Satisfaction
7.
Syst Rev ; 9(1): 200, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456001

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The burden of opioid use disorder (OUD) has been increasing in North America. Administration of medication-assisted treatments (MATs) for OUD on an individual-dose basis has been shown to affect patient responses to treatment, proving to be, on occasion, dangerous. A genetic basis has been identified for some MAT responses in a candidate gene context, but consensus has not been reached for any genome-wide significant associations. This systematic review aims to identify and assess any genetic variants associated with MAT patient outcomes at genome-wide significance. METHODS: The databases searched by the authors will be: MEDLINE, Web of Science, EMBASE, CINAHL and Pre-CINAHL, GWAS Catalog, GWAS Central, and NIH Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes. A title and abstract screening, full-text screening, data extraction, and quality assessment will be completed in duplicate for each study via Covidence. Treatment outcomes of interest include continued opioid use or abstinence during treatment or at follow-up, time to relapse, treatment retention rates, opioid overdose, other substance use, comorbid psychiatric disorders, risk taking behaviors, MAT plasma concentrations, and mortality rates. Analysis methods applied, if appropriate, will include random effects meta-analysis with pooled odds ratios for all outcomes. Subgroup analyses will also be implemented, when possible. DISCUSSION: This systematic review can hopefully inform the direction of future research, aiding in the development of a safer and more patient-centered treatment. It will be able to highlight genome-wide significant variants that are replicable and associated with MAT patient outcomes. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: This systematic review protocol has been registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) (registration ID CRD42020169121).


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid , Genome-Wide Association Study , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Humans , Meta-Analysis as Topic , North America , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/genetics , Systematic Reviews as Topic , Treatment Outcome
8.
BMJ Open ; 11(9): e053207, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440826

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Buprenorphine-naloxone is recommended as a first-line agent for the treatment of opioid use disorder. Although initiation of buprenorphine in the emergency department (ED) is evidence based, barriers to implementation persist. A comprehensive review and critical analysis of both facilitators of and barriers to buprenorphine initiation in ED has yet to be published. Our objectives are (1) to map the implementation of buprenorphine induction pathway literature and synthesise what we know about buprenorphine pathways in EDs and (2) to identify gaps in this literature with respect to barriers and facilitators of implementation. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will conduct a scoping review to comprehensively search the literature, map the evidence and identify gaps in knowledge. The review will adhere to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses Protocols Extension for Scoping Reviews and guidance from the Joanna Briggs Institution for conduct of scoping reviews. We will search Medline, APA, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Embase and IBSS from 1995 to present and the search will be restricted to English and French language publications. Citations will be screened in Covidence by two trained reviewers. Discrepancies will be mediated by consensus. Data will be synthesised using a hybrid, inductive-deductive approach, informed by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research as well as critical theory to guide further interpretation. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This review does not require ethics approval. A group of primary knowledge users, including clinicians and people with lived experience, will be involved in the dissemination of findings including publication in peer-reviewed journals. Results will inform future research, current quality improvement efforts in affiliated hospitals, and aide the creation of a more robust ED response to the escalating overdose crisis.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , Opioid-Related Disorders , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Delivery of Health Care , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Research Design , Systematic Reviews as Topic
11.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 228: 109100, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433145

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The loosening of U.S. methadone regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic expanded calls for methadone reform. This study examines professional perceptions of methadone take-home dose regulation before and during the COVID-19 pandemic to understand responses to varied methadone distribution policies. METHODS: Fifty-nine substance use disorder treatment professionals were interviewed between 2017 and 2020 in-person or over video call. An inductive iterative coding process was used to analyze the data. Constructivist grounded theory guided the collection and analysis of in-depth interviews. RESULTS: Treatment professionals expressed mixed views toward methadone take-home regulations. Participants justified regulation using several arguments: 1) patient care benefitting from supervision, 2) attributing improved patient safety to take-home regulation, 3) fearing liability for methadone-related harms, and 4) relying on buprenorphine as an "escape hatch" for patients who cannot manage MMT policies. Other professionals suggested partial deregulation, while others strongly opposed pre-pandemic take-home regulation, explaining such regulations impede medication access and hinder patient-centered care. Some professionals supported the COVID-19 policy changes and saw these as a test run for broader deregulation, while others framed the changes as temporary and cautiously applied deregulation to their services, at times revoking looser rules for patients they perceived as nonadherent. CONCLUSION: Treatment professionals working in a range of modalities, including opioid treatment programs, expressed hesitation toward expanded take-home methadone access. While some participants also supported forms of deregulation, post-pandemic efforts to extend looser methadone distribution policies will have to address apprehensive professionals if such policy changes are to be meaningfully adopted in community services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Methadone/therapeutic use , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics , Perception , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 228: 109049, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433143

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic had the potential to severely disrupt the delivery of methadone and buprenorphine, as social distancing and other public health regulations made in-person services difficult to maintain. Federal and state regulators changed requirements regarding the dispensing of medication and in-person counseling at opioid treatment programs. Understanding staff and patient reactions to these changes can help determine whether they should be maintained. METHODS: We interviewed 25 directors of OTP programs located throughout the United States. Note takers wrote summaries of each interview which were coded for topics and themes covered in the interview guide, including changes to clinic practices, take-home medications, telehealth, patient and staff reactions to new COVID-related protocols, and financial concerns for programs. RESULTS: Most programs rapidly incorporated new regulatory requirements, and directors were generally positive about the impact of increased take-home doses of medication and increased reliance on telehealth. Some directors voiced concerns about these changes, and some reported that patients missed the daily clinical contact with staff. Directors also suggested that more time was needed to assess the full impact of these changes. Financial impacts varied, although many directors were quick to point out that the ongoing opioid epidemic has delivered a steady stream of new patients, thus offsetting potential financial losses. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, this study demonstrated the generally positive view of OTP directors to the regulatory changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. More time is needed to fully evaluate the impact of these changes on clinical outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Humans , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
13.
Addict Sci Clin Pract ; 16(1): 55, 2021 09 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430481

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Improving access to medication treatment of opioid use disorder (MOUD) is a national priority, yet common modifiable barriers (e.g., limited provider knowledge, negative beliefs about MOUD) often challenge implementation of MOUD delivery. To address these barriers, the VA launched a multifaceted implementation intervention focused on planning and educational strategies to increase MOUD delivery in 18 medical facilities. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if a multifaceted intervention approach to increase MOUD delivery changed providers' perceptions about MOUD over the first year of implementation. METHODS: Cross-disciplinary teams of clinic providers and leadership from primary care, pain, and mental health clinics at 18 VA medical facilities received invitations to complete an anonymous, electronic survey prior to intervention launch (baseline) and at 12- month follow-up. Responses were summarized using descriptive statistics, and changes over time were compared using regression models adjusted for gender and prescriber status, and clustered on facility. Responses to open-ended questions were thematically analyzed using a template analysis approach. RESULTS: Survey response rates at baseline and follow-up were 57.1% (56/98) and 50.4% (61/121), respectively. At both time points, most respondents agreed that MOUD delivery is important (94.7 vs. 86.9%), lifesaving (92.8 vs. 88.5%) and evidence-based (85.2 vs. 89.5%). Over one-third (37.5%) viewed MOUD delivery as time-consuming, and only 53.7% affirmed that clinic providers wanted to prescribe MOUD at baseline; similar responses were seen at follow-up (34.5 and 52.4%, respectively). Respondents rated their knowledge about OUD, comfort discussing opioid use with patients, job satisfaction, ability to help patients with OUD, and support from colleagues favorably at both time points. Respondents' ratings of MOUD delivery filling a gap in care were high but declined significantly from baseline to follow-up (85.7 vs. 73.7%, p < 0.04). Open-ended responses identified implementation barriers including lack of support to diagnose and treat OUD and lack of time. CONCLUSIONS: Although perceptions about MOUD generally were positive, targeted education and planning strategies did not improve providers' and clinical leaders' perceptions of MOUD over time. Strategies that improve leaders' prioritization and support of MOUD and address time constraints related to delivering MOUD may increase access to MOUD in non-substance use treatment clinics.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , Opioid-Related Disorders , Veterans , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Primary Health Care
14.
J Opioid Manag ; 17(7): 119-131, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406833

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Availability and access to opioid agonist treatment (OAT) are limited despite its evidence of effectiveness in treating opioid use disorders (OUDs). COVID-19 pandemic has inadvertently exacerbated the problems of restricted access to OAT and, at the same time, has increased odds of harm due to opioid use. OBJECTIVES: We examined (a) adaptations conceived or implemented in the buprenorphine (BPN)-based OAT service delivery at the national, regional, or local level during the COVID-19 pandemic and (b) the impact of such transformations on the quantitative and qualitative aspects of service delivery. We focused exclusively on BPN-based OAT. METHODS: We carried out a systematic electronic database search in PubMed and Google Scholar. We included all types of articles. Additionally, we looked up relevant websites of international and national government agencies working in the field of drug abuse. RESULTS: We included 21 articles from 10 countries in the review and summarized the results in a narrative format. The majority of literature was from developed countries. We observed changes in the BPN initiation, dosing, and dispensing protocols, and particular emphasis on telemedicine. There was limited literature on service provisions for the vulnerable population. The changing modes of service delivery have possibly increased the number of new patients and reduced the risk of exposure owing to limited in-person contact. CONCLUSION: Newer adaptations to meet with the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic in the BPN-based OAT delivery tend to be innovative, flexible, and patient centered. Although it is too early to comment on these newer adaptations' impact, the outcome's directions appear to be positive.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Buprenorphine/adverse effects , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
17.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(8): e2118487, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1375581

ABSTRACT

Importance: The demand for medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in rural US counties far outweighs their availability. Novel approaches to extend treatment capacity include telemedicine (TM) and mobile treatment on demand; however, their combined use has not been reported or evaluated. Objective: To evaluate the use of a TM mobile treatment unit (TM-MTU) to improve access to MOUD for individuals living in an underserved rural area. Design, Setting, and Participants: This quality improvement study evaluated data collected from adult outpatients with a diagnosis of OUD enrolled in the TM-MTU initiative from February 2019 (program inception) to June 2020. Program staff traveled to rural areas in a modified recreational vehicle equipped with medical, videoconferencing, and data collection devices. Patients were virtually connected with physicians based more than 70 miles (112 km) away. Data analysis was performed from June to October 2020. Intervention: Patients received buprenorphine prescriptions after initial teleconsultation and follow-up visits from a study physician specialized in addiction psychiatry and medicine. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was 3-month treatment retention, and the secondary outcome was opioid-positive urine screens. Exploratory outcomes included use of other drugs and patients' travel distance to treatment. Results: A total of 118 patients were enrolled in treatment, of whom 94 were seen for follow-up treatment predominantly (at least 2 of 3 visits [>50%]) on the TM-MTU; only those 94 patients' data are considered in all analyses. The mean (SD) age of patients was 36.53 (9.78) years, 59 (62.77%) were men, 71 (75.53%) identified as White, and 90 (95.74%) were of non-Hispanic ethnicity. Fifty-five patients (58.51%) were retained in treatment by 3 months (90 days) after baseline. Opioid use was reduced by 32.84% at 3 months, compared with baseline, and was negatively associated with treatment duration (F = 12.69; P = .001). In addition, compared with the nearest brick-and-mortar treatment location, TM-MTU treatment was a mean of 6.52 miles (range, 0.10-58.70 miles) (10.43 km; range, 0.16-93.92 km) and a mean of 10 minutes (range, 1-49 minutes) closer for patients. Conclusions and Relevance: These data demonstrate the feasibility of combining TM with mobile treatment, with outcomes (retention and opioid use) similar to those obtained from office-based TM MOUD programs. By implementing a traveling virtual platform, this clinical paradigm not only helps fill the void of rural MOUD practitioners but also facilitates access to underserved populations who are less likely to reach traditional medical settings, with critical relevance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics , Rural Population , Telemedicine , Adult , Analgesics, Opioid , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 228: 108999, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1372963

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To understand clinician use of and opinions about telemedicine for opioid use disorder (tele-OUD) during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: An electronic national survey was administered in fall 2020 to 602 OUD clinicians recruited from WebMD/Medscape's online panel. The survey completion rate was 97.3 %. RESULTS: On average, clinicians reported that 56.9 % of their visits in the last month were via telemedicine (20.3 % via audio-only and 36.6 % via video). Most respondents (N = 376, 62.5 %) agreed that telemedicine has been as effective as in-person care. The majority (N = 535, 88.9 %) were comfortable using video for clinically stable patients, while half (N = 297, 49.3 %) were comfortable using video for patients who are not clinically stable. After the pandemic, most respondents (N = 422, 70.1 %) preferred to return to in-person care for the majority of visits; however, 95.3 % thought telemedicine should be offered in some form. Most (N = 481, 79.9 %) would continue to offer telemedicine if reimbursement were the same as in-person, while 242 (40.2 %) would continue if reimbursement were 25 % lower. Clinicians with more OUD patients used more telemedicine and reported higher comfort levels treating clinically unstable patients, and clinicians with more Medicaid/uninsured patients used more audio-only and preferred to continue using telemedicine post-pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine made up the majority of OUD visits provided by surveyed clinicians, and the vast majority of clinicians would like the option to offer telemedicine to at least some of their patients in the future if there is adequate reimbursement. These findings can help inform telemedicine's future role in the treatment of OUD.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Telemedicine , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics , Perception , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
19.
Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy ; 16(1): 60, 2021 08 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1350150

ABSTRACT

RESEARCH OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted healthcare delivery worldwide with likely negative effects on people who use opioids (PWUO). This scoping review of the original research literature describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare delivery for PWUO and identifies gaps in the literature. METHODS: This scoping review of the original research literature maps the available knowledge regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare delivery for PWUO. We utilized the methodology developed by the Joanna Briggs Institute for scoping reviews, and content analyses methodology to characterize the current state of the literature. RESULTS: Of the 14 included studies, administrative database (n = 11), cross-sectional (n = 1) or qualitative (n = 2) studies demonstrated service gaps (n = 7), patient/provider experiences (n = 3), and patient outcomes for PWUO (n = 4). In March 2020, healthcare utilization dropped quickly, sharply increasing only for reasons of opioid overdose by May 2020. Service gaps existed in accessing treatment for new patients during the pandemic due to capacity and infrastructure limits. Physicians reported difficulty referring patients to begin an outpatient opioid treatment program due to increased restrictions in capacity and infrastructure. Patients also reported uncertainty about accessing outpatient treatment, but that telehealth initiation of buprenorphine increased access to treatment from home. Disproportionate increases in overdose rates among African Americans were reported in two studies, with differences by race and gender not examined in most studies. Fatal overdoses increased 60% in African Americans during the pandemic, while fatal overdoses in Non-Hispanic White individuals decreased. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, this beginning evidence demonstrates that despite early reluctance to use the healthcare system, opioid overdose-related use of healthcare increased throughout the pandemic. Service delivery for medications to treat OUD remained at or above pre-pandemic levels, indicating the ability of telehealth to meet demand. Yet, racial disparities that existed pre-pandemic for PWUO are intensifying, and targeted intervention for high-risk groups is warranted to prevent further mortality. As the pandemic progresses, future research must focus on identifying and supporting subgroups of PWUO who are at heightened risk for experiencing negative outcomes and lack of access to care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Opioid-Related Disorders/therapy , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Cross-Sectional Studies , Drug Overdose/ethnology , Drug Overdose/mortality , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Methadone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/organization & administration
20.
Prev Med ; 152(Pt 2): 106742, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322395

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic exacerbated the opioid use disorder epidemic and accelerated alcohol and other substance use disorders. Sudden health care service delivery changes during the COVID-19 pandemic created both challenges and opportunities for all patients with substance use disorders including the use of virtual or telemedicine visits, medication access issues and ensuring access to naloxone when supplies cannot be handed out. Unique challenges for pregnant and post-partum patients with substance use disorders includes some evidence of reduced access to medication to treat opioid use disorders and changes in delivery protocols that isolate birthing people from supports. Opportunities for all patients with substance use disorders include virtual platforms presenting positive opportunities for treatment. They are time efficient, eliminate transportation barriers, and potentially reduce childcare barriers. For pregnant and post-partum patients with substance use disorders, hybrid models of telemedicine and in-person visits reduced no-show visit rates and increased flexibility in medication dosing regimens. Thus, there is a unique opportunity to study the success of different virtual care models given the variety of implemented strategies. The COVID-19 pandemic provides an unprecedented opportunity to dramatically transform standard care approaches to help optimize care for all patients, including pregnant and post-partum people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Substance-Related Disorders , Telemedicine , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
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