Access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder: is Rhode Island different, and why?

Abstract: This paper assesses the prevalence of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) among treatment episodes for opioid use disorder (OUD) in Rhode Island, as compared with the remaining New England states and the United States as a whole. Based on the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS-A), a national census of admissions into publicly funded treatment facilities for substance use disorders, we find that during the period beginning in 2000 through 2017, Rhode Island exhibited a greater tendency to use MAT as part of OUD treatment compared with the average state in the United States and compared with the average combined tendency among the five other New England states. Logistic regression analysis reveals that the higher incidence of MAT among OUD treatment episodes in Rhode Island compared with the US average can be partly accounted for by Rhode Island?s having (1) a higher share of patients with government-sponsored health insurance plans, (2) an older age profile of patients, (3) a higher share of married patients, and (4) a higher percentage of intravenous drug users. However, well over half of the difference in the MAT rate between Rhode Island and rest of the United States is due to differences in factors not observed in the TEDS-A but which are known to prevail in the state, such as Rhode Island?s high number of methadone clinics per capita, its high federal funding rate per capital to combat substance abuse, and state policies promoting the use of MAT.

Keywords: opioid use disorder; treatment episode data set; medication-assisted treatment; Rhode Island;

JEL Classification: I18; I12; I13;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Part of Series: Current Policy Perspectives

Publication Date: 2019-11-01

Number: 19-2

Pages: 39 pages