Online Program

Treating opioid dependence: Workforce attitudes towards implementation of medically assisted treatment into standard drug treatment

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Anthony Estreet, Ph.D., LCSW-C, LCADC, School of Social Work, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Paul Archibald, Dr.Ph, LCSW-C, School of Social Work, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
M. Taqi Tirmazi, Ph.D., MSW, School of Social Work, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Aims: The purpose of this study was to examine clinical staff attitudes towards the implementation and utilization of medication assisted treatment (MAT), specifically (1) buprenorphine, (2) naloxone, and (3) extended release naloxone to treatment opioid use disorders. 

Methods: A mixed-methods approach was utilized to gather base line assessments (n=60) and 3- month follow-up (n=52). Participants were identified as staff that had direct interaction with patients at the facility. Data was analyzed using SPSS and included descriptive statistics and analyses of variance.  Nvivo software was used to analyze codes in the qualitative data.

Results: Analysis suggest statistically significant differences in staff attitudes towards the use of MAT.  Staff knowledge about the use of MAT increased for each medication: buprenorphine (36% to 74%), naloxone (38% to 62%), and extended release naloxone (27% to 59%).  There was an increase in attitude among staff in recovery with regards to utilization (29% to 54%).  Staff indicated increased support for MAT by coworkers (21% to 61%) and leadership (43% to 88%).  There was an increased likelihood to be supportive of MAT for clients (38% to 79%) currently in treatment indicating an overall increase in supportiveness of MAT.  Qualitative analysis of data indicated several themes of importance regarding the use of MAT and recovery: (1) ongoing clinical counseling in addition to MAT, (2) time-limited to avoid dependency, (3) peer recovery/12-step involvement.

Conclusions: Findings from this study indicate the ongoing importance of staff education and “buy in” to effectively implement and utilize MAT in standard clinical practice.  By increasing staff knowledge and attitudes about MAT, the overall treatment philosophy surrounding it use is met with less overall resistance.  Direct care staff have an important role in client care and as such should have ongoing trainings around evidence-based practices and their benefits to improve treatment related outcomes among patients.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the importance of workforce education and training supporting medically assisted treatment options. Identify and Discuss three medication assisted treatment options for opioid use disorders.

Keyword(s): Drug Abuse Treatment, Workforce Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a practicing clinician for over 10 years in the area of addiction treatment. My focus was on the strategic development of interventions and exploring treatment outcomes with regards to the specific interventions. As a previous clinical director, I oversaw the outpatient behavioral health programs which include programs such as early intervention, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, traditional outpatient, and an opioid specific program which specializes in medication assisted treatment.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.