Variation among state-level approaches to addressing alcohol abuse in opioid treatment programs

Gavin H. Harris, Shiela M. Strauss, Carina Katigbak, Bhupinder S. Brar, Lawrence S. Brown, Steven S. Kipnis, Steven A. Kritz, Mark W. Parrino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In view of their role in licensing opioid treatment programs (OTPs), state opioid treatment authorities (SOTAs) are in a unique position to influence how OTPs address their patients' alcohol abuse. Using data from a telephone survey of SOTAs from the District of Columbia and states that have at least one OTP (n = 46), this study examines the extent to which SOTAs address alcohol abuse in their respective state policies and guidelines for OTPs. Findings indicate that 27 states have overall measures on how to address patients' problematic alcohol use, 23 states require or recommend alcohol education to be provided to all patients, and 17 states have stipulations that address specific actions to be taken if patients present at daily dosing under the influence of alcohol. Although SOTAs generally rate alcohol of at least moderate importance in formulating regulations, many of their policies and guidelines do not deal with various alcohol-related services and issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Alcohol addiction
  • Alcohol reduction support
  • Methadone maintenance
  • Opioid treatment program
  • State opioid treatment authority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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