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Publication Detail
Differences in receipt of opioid agonist treatment and time to enter treatment for opioid use disorder among specialty addiction programs in the United States, 2014-17.
BACKGROUND: Access to adequate treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) has been a high priority among American policymakers. Elucidation of the sociodemographic and institutional differences associated with the use, or lack thereof, of opioid agonist therapy (OAT) provides greater clarity on who receives OAT. Timely access to care is a further consideration and bears scrutiny as well. METHODS: We draw upon data from the Treatment Episode Data Set-Admissions (TEDS-A) to analyse the relationship between sociodemographic and institutional characteristics and the receipt of opioid agonist treatments and time waiting to enter treatment. RESULTS: Estimates from logistic regression models highlight certain groups which show lower odds of receipt of OAT, including those in precarious housing arrangements, those unemployed or not otherwise in the labor force, and those referred by drug abuse care providers, educational institutions, employers, and the criminal justice system. Groups which showed higher odds of waiting over a week to enter treatment included those who were separated, divorced, or widowed, those working part-time, and those referred by drug abuse care providers, employers, and the criminal justice system. CONCLUSION: Given the efficacy of OAT and the adverse outcomes associated with long waiting times, coordinated effort is needed to understand why these differences persist and how they may be addressed through appropriate policy responses.
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