Barriers to Buprenorphine Expansion in Ohio: A Time-Elapsed Qualitative Study
The research and preparation of the manuscript were supported by grants from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (R01 DA030431) and (R01 DA41415). Dennis McCarty receives support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (UG1 DA015815, P50 DA018165, and R33 DA035640).
Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
Buprenorphine partial opioid agonist pharmacotherapy, a key treatment for opioid use disorders (OUDs), is underutilized in the United States. Qualitative interviews, conducted in 2012/2013 and repeated in 2015, identified systemic barriers to providing buprenorphine treatment in Ohio. A representative sample of Ohio’s Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) county boards (n = 18) was selected based on percentage of OUD admissions, density of buprenorphine prescribers, and county board area population. Boards reported that the barriers to the use of buprenorphine in 2012/2013 included (1) negative attitudes toward the use of buprenorphine among substance use disorder treatment providers; (2) a lack of prescribers; and (3) lack of funding. The 2015 interviews suggested that the lack of prescribers surpassed lack of funding as the main impediment to buprenorphine expansion. Negative provider attitudes were no longer problematic. Concerns about buprenorphine diversion, however, had emerged as a new barrier. This article offers recommendations for future policy efforts to overcome these barriers and expand the use of evidence-based opioid treatments. It highlights the need for payers and policymakers to increase the number of buprenorphine prescribers to make best use of funding available to fight the opioid epidemic.
Locate the Document
Molfenter, T., Fitzgerald, M., Jacobson, N., McCarty, D., Quanbeck, A., & Zehner, M. (2019). Barriers to buprenorphine expansion in Ohio: A time-elapsed qualitative study. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 51(3), 272-279.