Sunday, April 10, 2016

Linkage to Primary Care for Persons First Receiving Injectable Naltrexone During Inpatient Opioid Detoxification

  • XR-NTX begun during opioid detoxification can be continued in primary care settings.
  • 55% of XR-NTX recipients link to primary care for continued treatment.
  • We found no predictors of XR-NTX continuation in primary care.
Opioid use disorders commonly require ongoing medication-assisted treatment to reduce relapse following discharge from inpatient detoxification programs. Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, is an increasingly popular treatment option in its once-monthly injectable form (XR-NTX). The aim of this study was to examine the follow-up rates of persons who received an initial injection during inpatient detoxification and scheduled for receipt of a first outpatient injection in the primary care setting.

We reviewed the electronic health records of 62 consecutive opioid dependent adults who received an initial injection of XR-NTX during extended inpatient detoxification at Stanley Street Treatment and Resources (SSTAR) in Fall River, Massachusetts, from March 2013 to August 2015, and were referred to the adjacent SSTAR primary care health center for their second injection 1month later. Demographic information, drug use and opioid treatment history, and aftercare planning were assessed.

Participants averaged 32.4 (±7.8) years of age, 90.3% were non-Latino Caucasian, 35.5% were homeless, 21.3% reported a drug overdose in the last year, and 53.2% had been in detoxification within the last year. Of the 62 participants referred to primary care, 34 (54.8%) followed up to receive their second XR-NTX injection. Twenty of these persons received at least a third XR-NTX injection. No demographic, treatment history, substance use behaviors, or aftercare plan variables were associated with receipt of a second injection (p<.20).

Predicting, and therefore improving, XR-NTX continuation during the transition from inpatient detoxification to primary care may be difficult in this population.

Purchase full article at:

  • 1General Medicine Research Unit, Butler Hospital, Providence, RI, 02906; Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, 02912. Electronic address:
  • 2General Medicine Research Unit, Butler Hospital, Providence, RI, 02906.
  • 3Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, 02912; Stanley Street Treatment and Resources, Inc., Fall River, Massachusetts, 02720. 
  •  2016 May;64:44-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2016.01.007. Epub 2016 Feb 23.

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