Differential adoption of opioid agonist treatments in detoxification and outpatient settings

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5 Scopus citations


Background: Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a significant public health problem for which a substantial amount of treatment exists. The degree to which methadone and buprenorphine are administered in different treatment modalities is not clear but critical to understanding treatment success rates and service development strategies. Methods: Data from the national Treatment Episode Dataset for Admissions and Discharges (TEDS-A [N = 4,070,264] and TEDS-D [832,731], respectively) were used to determine the likelihood patients initiating detoxification and outpatient OUD treatment between 2006 and 2015 were expected to receive opioid agonist treatment. Joinpoint regression evaluated significant trends and a generalized linear model with logit link function identified characteristics associated with receiving an agonist during detoxification. TEDS-D informed the percent of patients leaving detoxification against medical advice who did/did not receive an opioid agonist. Results: Though agonist use in outpatient settings increased by 60% during 2012–2015, agonist use in detoxification was lower than outpatient treatment, decreased significantly by 26% from 2009 to 2015, and never exceeded 16% of detoxification admissions during 2006–2015. In 2015, persons who were under 25, homeless, had co-occurring psychiatric problems, utilized Medicare, Medicaid, or had no insurance, and had no prior OUD treatment or were high treatment utilizers were the least likely to receive an agonist during detoxification. Conclusions: Efforts to expand opioid agonist access has been successful for outpatient but not detoxification settings. Improving detoxification outcomes is a potentially high impact way for the US to expand efficacious OUD treatment access in the US.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-28
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Opioid
  • TEDS
  • Withdrawal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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