Background: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved three long-acting medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD): extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) in 2010, a subdermal buprenorphine implant in 2016, and a depot buprenorphine injection in 2017. Long-acting MOUD options may improve adherence while reducing diversion, but their availability compared to daily-dosing MOUD has not been well-characterized. The objective of this analysis was to characterize the availability of long-acting MOUD in substance use disorder treatment settings in the United States.
Methods: Using the 2017 National Survey on Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) and state-level opioid overdose mortality, we examined associations between state- and facility-level factors and offering long-acting MOUD, which included XR-NTX and the buprenorphine implant. We constructed multivariable mixed logistic regression models for both types of long-acting MOUD.
Results: Nationwide, 38% (n = 5141) of substance use treatment facilities provided any kind of MOUD (daily or long-acting). Of these, 62% provided XR-NTX, whereas only 3% offered the buprenorphine implant. Facilities in the East North Central, East South Central, West North Central and Mountain regions had higher odds of offering XR-NTX, as did federally-funded facilities, and facilities in states with the highest opioid overdose mortality rates.
Conclusions: In 2017, XR-NTX was available at most of the minority of facilities offering MOUD, but the buprenorphine implant was not. Increasing the availability of MOUD, including long-acting options, is necessary to address unmet need for opioid use disorder treatment.
Keywords: Buprenorphine; Health services; MOUD; Naltrexone; Opioid use disorder; Treatment.
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