Title

State-Targeted Funding and Technical Assistance to Increase Access to Medication Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Author Department

Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date

4-2018

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

As the United States grapples with an opioid epidemic, expanding access to effective treatment for opioid use disorder is a major public health priority. Identifying effective policy tools that can be used to expand access to care is critically important. This article examines the relationship between state-targeted funding and technical assistance and adoption of three medications for treating opioid use disorder: oral naltrexone, injectable naltrexone, and buprenorphine.

METHODS:

This study draws from the 2013-2014 wave of the National Drug Abuse Treatment System Survey, a nationally representative, longitudinal study of substance use disorder treatment programs. The sample includes data from 695 treatment programs (85.5% response rate) and representatives from single-state agencies in 49 states and Washington, D.C. (98% response rate). Logistic regression was used to examine the relationships of single-state agency targeted funding and technical assistance to availability of opioid use disorder medications among treatment programs.

RESULTS:

State-targeted funding was associated with increased program-level adoption of oral naltrexone (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=3.14, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.49-6.60, p=.004) and buprenorphine (AOR=2.47, 95% CI=1.31-4.67, p=.006). Buprenorphine adoption was also correlated with state technical assistance to support medication provision (AOR=1.18, 95% CI=1.00-1.39, p=.049).

CONCLUSIONS:

State-targeted funding for medications may be a viable policy lever for increasing access to opioid use disorder medications. Given the historically low rates of opioid use disorder medication adoption in treatment programs, single-state agency targeted funding is a potentially important tool to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with opioid disorders and misuse.

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