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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health