Differences in Availability and Use of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Residential Treatment Settings in the United States

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: While many individuals with opioid use disorder seek treatment at residential facilities to initiate long-term recovery, the availability and use of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUDs) in these facilities is unclear. Objective: To examine differences in MOUD availability and use in residential facilities as a function of Medicaid policy, facility-level factors associated with MOUD availability, and admissions-level factors associated with MOUD use. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study used deidentified facility-level and admissions-level data from 2863 residential treatment facilities and 232414 admissions in the United States in 2017. Facility-level data were extracted from the 2017 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, and admissions-level data were extracted from the 2017 Treatment Episode Data Set-Admissions. Statistical analyses were conducted from June to November 2019. Exposures: Admissions for opioid use disorder at residential treatment facilities in the United States that identified opioids as the patient's primary drug of choice. Main Outcomes and Measures: Availability and use of 3 MOUDs (ie, extended-release naltrexone, buprenorphine, and methadone). Results: Of 232414 admissions, 205612 (88.5%) contained complete demographic data (166213 [80.8%] aged 25-54 years; 136854 [66.6%] men; 151867 [73.9%] white). Among all admissions, MOUDs were used in only 34058 of 192336 (17.7%) in states that expanded Medicaid and 775 of 40078 (1.9%) in states that did not expand Medicaid (P <.001). A relatively low percentage of the 2863 residential treatment facilities in this study offered extended-release naltrexone (854 [29.8%]), buprenorphine (953 [33.3%]), or methadone (60 [2.1%]). Compared with residential facilities that offered at least 1 MOUD, those that offered no MOUDs had lower odds of also offering psychiatric medications (odds ratio [OR], 0.06; 95% CI, 0.05-0.08; Wald χ21 = 542.09; P <.001), being licensed by a state or hospital authority (OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.27-0.57; Wald χ21 = 24.28; P <.001), or being accredited by a health organization (OR, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.23-0.33; Wald χ21 = 180.91; P <.001). Residential facilities that did not offer any MOUDs had higher odds of accepting cash-only payments than those that offered at least 1 MOUD (OR, 4.80; 95% CI, 3.47-6.64; Wald χ21 = 89.65; P <.001). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study of residential addiction treatment facilities in the United States, MOUD availability and use were sparse. Public health and policy efforts to improve access to and use of MOUDs in residential treatment facilities could improve treatment outcomes for individuals with opioid use disorder who are initiating recovery..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1920843
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Differences in Availability and Use of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Residential Treatment Settings in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this