Opioids & SU
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Crystal methamphetamine ("meth") use is on the rise in the USA, having devastating effects on individuals and communities. Innovative prevention strategies are therefore critical. Through an exploratory qualitative study, we examined the perspectives and experiences of teenagers and parents around meth prevention messaging formats and strategies. Teens and adults were recruited through middle and high schools, libraries, local sporting events, and word of mouth in three communities in North Idaho, May-September 2016. Guided by the theoretical framework of the Extended Parallel Process Model, we conducted focus groups and small group interviews (three teen; two adults). Using a deductive content analytic approach, we developed teen- and adult-specific codebooks, analyzed the transcripts with NVivo 12-Plus, and identified themes. Teens and adults were all acutely aware of meth use in their communities, personally knowing people who were addicted to meth, and all understood the oral ("meth mouth") and physical ("crank bugs") consequences of meth use. Three primary themes were identified, which focused on the effects of, addiction to, and messaging around crystal meth use. For teens and adults, images illustrating the effects of meth were least effective if they appeared unrealistic or comical. Teens resonated most with messages focusing on pain and vanity (bad teeth and breath), and there was consensus that showing teens images simulating changes in their appearance over time as a result of meth use in a clinical setting would be an effective prevention strategy. Teens and adults who had exposure to meth addiction in North Idaho felt that prevention messages focused on meth are imperative, given its high prevalence and deleterious effects. Future work will entail developing and testing a communication-based meth prevention strategy along with tailored messaging that can be used with teens in dental settings.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this article are to present findings from recent qualitative research with patients in a combined perinatal substance use treatment program in Central Appalachia, and to describe and analyze participants' ambivalence about medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), in the context of widespread societal stigma and judgement. METHODS: We conducted research in a comprehensive outpatient perinatal substance use treatment program housed in a larger obstetric practice serving a large rural, Central Appalachian region. The program serves patients across the spectrum of substance use disorders but specifically offers medication-assisted treatment to perinatal patients with OUD. We purposively and opportunistically sampled patients receiving prescriptions for buprenorphine or buprenorphine-naloxone dual product, along with prenatal care and other services. Through participant-observation and semi-structured interviews, we gathered qualitative data from 27 participants, in a total of 31 interviews. We analyzed transcripts of interviews and fieldnotes using modified Grounded Theory. RESULTS: Participants in a combined perinatal substance use treatment program value supportive, non-judgmental care but report ambivalence about medication, within structural and institutional contexts of criminalized, stigmatized substance use and close scrutiny of their pregnancies. Women are keenly aware of the social and public consequences for themselves and their parenting, if they begin or continue medication treatment for OUD. CONCLUSIONS: Substance use treatment providers should consider the social consequences of medication treatment, as well as the clinical benefits, when presenting treatment options and recommendations to patients. Patient-centered care must include an understanding of larger social and structural contexts.
Background: Ohio's opioid epidemic continues to progress, severely affecting its rural Appalachian counties-areas marked by high mortality rates, widespread economic challenges, and a history of extreme opioid overprescribing. Substance use may be particularly prevalent in the region due to interactions between community and interpersonal trauma. Purpose/Objectives: We conducted qualitative interviews to explore the local context of the epidemic and the contributing role of trauma. Methods: Two interviewers conducted in-depth interviews (n = 34) with stakeholders in three rural Appalachian counties, including healthcare and substance use treatment professionals, law enforcement officials, and judicial officials. Semi-structured interview guides focused on the social, economic, and historical context of the opioid epidemic, perceived causes and effects of the epidemic, and ideas for addressing the challenge. Results: Stakeholders revealed three pervasive forms of trauma related to the epidemic in their communities: environmental/community trauma (including economic and historical distress), physical/sexual trauma, and emotional trauma. Traumas interact with one another and with substance use in a self-perpetuating cycle. Although stakeholders in all groups discussed trauma from all three categories, their interpretation and proposed solutions differed, leading to a fragmented epidemic response. Participants also discussed the potential of finding hope and community through efforts to address trauma and substance use. Conclusions: Findings lend support to the cyclical relationship between trauma and substance use, as well as the importance of environmental and community trauma as drivers of the opioid epidemic. Community-level and trauma-informed interventions are needed to increase stakeholder consensus around treatment and prevention strategies, as well as to strengthen community organization networks and support community resilience. Supplemental data for this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2021.1887248.
Purpose: This article summarizes lessons learned from five AHRQ grants to implement Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) in rural primary care practices. Methods: Lessons learned were extracted from quarterly and annual grantee progress reports, minutes from quarterly virtual meetings, and minutes and notes from annual grantee in-person meetings. The lessons learned were drafted by the authors and reviewed by the grantees for accuracy. Results: The experience of these projects suggest that recruiting providers in rural areas and engaging them to initiate and sustain provision of MOUD is very difficult. Innovative approaches and providing supports are required for supporting providers to overcome barriers. Implications: Implementation of MOUD in rural primary care is challenging but success is more likely if implementers are attentive to the needs of individual providers, are flexible and tailor implementation to the local situation, and provide on-going support.
BACKGROUND: Citizens affected by substance use disorders are high-risk populations for both SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19-related mortality. Relevant vulnerabilities to COVID-19 in people who suffer substance use disorders are described in previous communications. The COVID-19 pandemic offers a unique opportunity to reshape and update addiction treatment networks. MAIN BODY: Renewed treatment systems should be based on these seven pillars: (1) telemedicine and digital solutions, (2) hospitalization at home, (3) consultation-liaison psychiatric and addiction services, (4) harm-reduction facilities, (5) person-centered care, (6) promote paid work to improve quality of life in people with substance use disorders, and (7) integrated addiction care. The three "best buys" of the World Health Organization (reduce availability, increase prices, and a ban on advertising) are still valid. Additionally, new strategies must be implemented to systematically deal with (a) fake news concerning legal and illegal drugs and (b) controversial scientific information. CONCLUSION: The heroin pandemic four decades ago was the last time that addiction treatment systems were updated in many western countries. A revised and modernized addiction treatment network must include improved access to care, facilitated where appropriate by technology; more integrated care with addiction specialists supporting non-specialists; and reducing the stigma experienced by people with SUDs.