For people with opioid use disorder (OUD), getting into or staying in an opioid agonist treatment (OAT) program while in jail or prison has never been easy. But incarcerated populations now face a new challenge: the COVID-19 pandemic threatens access to treatment programs and their life-saving medications. Sachini Bandara, PhD, and her colleagues at Johns Hopkins, … [Read more...] about Study: COVID-19 Threatens the Incarcerated With Loss of Life-Saving OAT Treatment
Jail-based methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) sounds great in theory, but it’s rarely implemented. Yet opioid use disorders are common, with about 23% of state prisoners and 18% of federal prisoners reporting a history of opioid use. Tragically, once prisoners are released, loss of tolerance and the increased availability of potent synthetic opioids puts them at a high risk … [Read more...] about Can Jail-Based MMT Lower Costs and Help Prevent Recidivism?
It’s a scene that’s repeated countless times every day across the U.S. Siren blaring, an ambulance jolts to a stop at the entrance to a hospital emergency department (ED). Two paramedics jump out, open the back door, retrieve a young man strapped on a gurney, and wheel the gurney into the ED. A doctor hurries over. The lead paramedic calls out, “Apparent heroin OD; … [Read more...] about STUDY: Saving Lives by Launching Buprenorphine Treatment in the ED: What Clinicians Need to Know
This is such an important question to resolve! Especially now, with more than a dozen states yet to decide on Medicaid expansion, while studies—some pro, some con, fail to provide an answer. So many factors are in play, and the statistical analysis involved is intensive. Background The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2010, … [Read more...] about STUDY: Is ACA Medicaid Expansion Fueling the Opioid Epidemic, or Is It Saving Lives?
Lacking alternative resources, many people with substance use disorders (SUDs) visit emergency departments (EDs), especially after an overdose (OD). This gives care providers an opportunity to provide referrals to treatment for those who need it. But EDs may lack the time and resources to select the patients at highest risk—those who could benefit from intervention. This is … [Read more...] about STUDY: Risk Factors EDs Can Use to Identify Patients With Substance-Related Encounters Who Are at High Risk of Fatal Opioid ODs