Cover: Availability of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Community Mental Health Facilities

Availability of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Community Mental Health Facilities

Published in: JAMA Network Open, Volume 7, No. 6, e2417545 (June 2024). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.17545

Posted on Jun 20, 2024

by Jonathan H. Cantor, Beth Ann Griffin, Barbara Levitan, Sapna J. Mendon-Plasek, Bradley D. Stein, Sarah B. Hunter, Allison J. Ober


Medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) are an effective but underutilized treatment. Opioid use disorder prevalence is high among people receiving treatment in community outpatient mental health treatment facilities (MHTFs), but MHTFs are understudied as an MOUD access point.


To quantify availability of MOUD at community outpatient MHTFs in high-burden states as well as characteristics associated with offering MOUD.

Design, Setting, and Participants

This cross-sectional study performed a phone survey between April and July 2023 among a representative sample of community outpatient MHTFs within 20 states most affected by the opioid crisis, including all Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers (CCBHCs). Participants were staff at 450 surveyed community outpatient MHTFs in 20 states in the US.

Main Outcomes and Measures

MOUD availability. A multivariable logistic regression was fit to assess associations of facility, county, and state-level characteristics with offering MOUD.


Surveys with staff from 450 community outpatient MHTFs (152 CCBHCs and 298 non-CCBHCs) in 20 states were analyzed. Weighted estimates found that 34% (95% CI, 29%-39%) of MHTFs offered MOUD in these states. Facility-level factors associated with increased odds of offering MOUD were: self-reporting being a CCBHC (odds ratio [OR], 2.11 [95% CI, 1.08-4.11]), providing integrated mental and substance use disorder treatment (OR, 5.21 [95% CI, 2.44-11.14), having a specialized treatment program for clients with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders (OR, 2.25 [95% CI, 1.14-4.43), offering housing services (OR, 2.54 [95% CI, 1.43-4.51]), and laboratory testing (OR, 2.15 [95% CI, 1.12-4.12]). Facilities that accepted state-financed health insurance plans other than Medicaid as a form of payment had increased odds of offering MOUD (OR, 1.95 [95% CI, 1.01-3.76]) and facilities that accepted state mental health agency funds had reduced odds (OR, 0.43 [95% CI, 0.19-0.99]).

Conclusions and Relevance

In this study of 450 community outpatient MHTFs in 20 high-burden states, approximately one-third offered MOUD. These results suggest that further study is needed to report MOUD uptake, either through increased prescribing at all clinics or through effective referral models.

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