Health and economic outcomes of treatment with extended-release naltrexone among pre-release prisoners with opioid use disorder (HOPPER): Protocol for an evaluation of two randomized effectiveness trials

Sean M. Murphy, Philip J. Jeng, Sabrina A. Poole, Ali Jalali, Frank J. Vocci, Michael S. Gordon, George E. Woody, Daniel Polsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Persons with an opioid use disorder (OUD) who were incarcerated face many challenges to remaining abstinent; concomitantly, opioid-overdose is the leading cause of death among this population, with the initial weeks following release proving especially fatal. Extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) is the most widely-accepted, evidence-based OUD pharmacotherapy in criminal justice settings, and ensures approximately 30 days of protection from opioid overdose. The high cost of XR-NTX serves as a barrier to uptake by many prison/jail systems; however, the cost of the medication should not be viewed in isolation. Prison/jail healthcare budgets are ultimately determined by policymakers, and the benefits/cost-offsets associated with effective OUD treatment will directly and indirectly affect their overall budgets, and society as a whole. Methods: This protocol describes a study funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to: evaluate changes in healthcare utilization, health-related quality-of-life, and other resources associated with different strategies of XR-NTX delivery to persons with OUD being released from incarceration; and estimate the relative "value" of each strategy. Data from two ongoing, publicly-funded, randomized-controlled trials will be used to evaluate these questions. In Study A, (XR-NTX Before vs. After Reentry), participants are randomized to receive their first XR-NTX dose before release, or at a nearby program post-release. In Study B, (enhanced XR-NTX vs. XR-NTX), both arms receive XR-NTX prior to release; the enhanced arm receives mobile medical (place of residence) XR-NTX treatment post-release, and the XR-NTX arm receives referral to a community treatment program post-release. The economic data collection instruments required to evaluate outcomes of interest were incorporated into both studies from baseline. Moreover, because the same instruments are being used in both trials on comparable populations, we have the opportunity to not only assess differences in outcomes between study arms within each trial, but also to merge the data sets and test for differences across trials. Discussion: Initiating XR-NTX for OUD prior to release from incarceration may improve patient health and well-being, while also producing downstream cost-offsets. This study offers the unique opportunity to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of multiple strategies, according to different stakeholder perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15
JournalAddiction Science and Clinical Practice
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 22 2020

Keywords

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Extended-release naltrexone
  • Health-related quality-of-life
  • Healthcare utilization
  • Justice involved persons
  • Opioid use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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