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Responses among substance abuse treatment providers to the opioid epidemic in the USA: Variations in buprenorphine and methadone treatment by geography, operational, and payment characteristics, 2007-16

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Roman-Urrestarazu, Andres 
Brayne, Carol 


Objective: To identify the geographic, organisational, and payment correlates of buprenorphine and methadone treatment among substance abuse treatment (SAT) providers. Methods: Secondary analyses of the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (NSSATS) from 2007–16 were conducted. We provide bivariate descriptive statistics regarding substance abuse treatment services which offered buprenorphine and methadone treatment from 2007–16. Using multiple logistic regression, we regressed geographic, organisational, and payment correlates on buprenorphine and methadone treatment. Results: Buprenorphine is increasingly offered at SAT facilities though uptake remains comparatively low outside of the northeast. SAT facilities run by tribal governments or Indian Health Service which offer buprenorphine remain low compared to privately operated SAT facilities (AOR = 0.528). The odds of offering buprenorphine among facilities offering free or no charge treatment (AOR = 0.838) or a sliding fee scale (AOR = 0.464) was lower. SAT facilities accepting Medicaid payments showed higher odds of offering methadone treatment (AOR = 2.035). Conclusions: Greater attention towards the disparities in provision of opioid agonist therapies is warranted, especially towards the reasons why uptake has been moderate among civilian providers. Additionally, the care needs of Native Americans facing opioid-related use disorders bears further scrutiny.



Research Article, Medicine and health sciences, Social sciences, Research and analysis methods

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Public Library of Science