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Author ORCID Identifier
Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Public Health and Community Nursing
Substance use continues to rise in the United States. In 2021, 5.6 million people had an opioid use disorder (OUD). OUD is highly stigmatized and is not treated as a chronic condition. People with OUD have been denied treatment for a single positive urine drug test. Pregnant women are further at risk of criminal charges or losing custody of their child. OUD treatment success is defined as opioid abstinence and the goal of treatment is to taper off medication, despite evidence that treatment retention leads to better outcomes. The purpose of this study was to identify patterns of buprenorphine utilization and drug use that predict treatment utilization in both a general population and among women who were ever pregnant during treatment. This retrospective analysis of electronic health records contained information for 23,825 adults in OUD treatment between January 2016 and February 2018; including 1342 who were pregnant during the treatment period. Nonparametric regression was used to identify thresholds. Univariate general linear models were used to determine if patterns of medication or opioid use predicted treatment utilization. Four groups were created based on the threshold cut points to examine treatment utilization. People in the bup ↑/ opioid ↓ group (≥75% buprenorphine utilization/ ≤25% opioid use) remained in treatment longer, had fewer care interruptions, and higher retention rates. Women who were ever pregnant in the bup ↑/ opioid ↓ group had higher retention rates with fewer care interruptions, and were seen more recently. Polysubstance use did not impact the odds of being retained in treatment for those in the bup ↑/ opioid ↓ group. The thresholds identified here can be used to redefine treatment goals. People in the bup ↑/ opioid ↓ group are retained in treatment. Pregnancy increased treatment utilization rates. The current abstinence-only approach to OUD treatment is not realistic or consistent with treatment for other chronic conditions. This is most especially true for pregnant women. The results also show that use of other drugs and/or alcohol should not impact receipt of OUD treatment. OUD is a chronic condition that requires long-term treatment and should be treated as such.
Kent, Nicole M., "Patterns of Substance Use and Buprenorphine Utilization to Predict Treatment Utilization for Opioid Use Disorder" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations. 2824.
Available for download on Sunday, May 26, 2024