Letting the sun shine on patient voices: Perspectives about medications for opioid use disorder in Florida
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Letting the sun shine on patient voices: Perspectives about medications for opioid use disorder in Florida

  • Published Date:

    December 11 2020

  • Source:
    J Subst Abuse Treat. 123:108247
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-324.96 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    J Subst Abuse Treat
  • Description:
    The 2017 declaration of the opioid overdose epidemic as a public health emergency in the United States enhanced a national focus on effective and sustainable treatments for opioid use disorder (OUD), including multiple options utilizing medication. Despite clinical studies demonstrating efficacy, numerous reports suggest that medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) has been underutilized, leaving many questions about specific barriers and facilitators. This study examines factors impacting attitudes and perspectives related to MOUD that influence its utilization and acceptance in a state where support for harm reduction and treatment policy has been limited. With consideration for the contextual cultural factors of this region, we conducted twelve individual interviews with people seeking treatment for OUD at a detoxification facility in Tampa, Florida. This study called attention to the perspectives of patients regarding their unique self-identified needs and beliefs around MOUD as it relates to their addiction treatment. We evaluated the perspectives collected in the interviews (N = 12) based on three main themes: 1) positive perceptions of MOUD; 2) negative perceptions of MOUD; and 3) overall perceptions of treatment and recovery. Findings suggest that participants' varying levels of positive and negative perspectives about MOUD are informed by nuances in their social networks and varying levels of exposure or education. For example, participants held more negative opinions of MOUD than positive, accounting mostly for a view that it serves as a direct substitute for illicit opioids rather than a sustainable or supportive solution addressing the underlying causes of addiction. These opinions may be largely dependent on geographic location that dictates policy, practice, funding, and, in turn, cultural acceptance of MOUD. The findings in this qualitative study may help to inform future education efforts, initiatives addressing patient-level concerns, and provide decision-makers with meaningful information to tailor programmatic policy and procedures specific to local area social inputs and resource exposure.
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