Health Services Research & Development

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Meshberg-Cohen S, Black AC, DeViva JC, Petrakis IL, Rosen MI. Trauma treatment for veterans in buprenorphine maintenance treatment for opioid use disorder. Addictive Behaviors. 2019 Feb 1; 89:29-34.
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Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Opioid use disorder (OUD) rates are high among veterans. PTSD is also prevalent among veterans; those with comorbidity have worse outcomes than those without comorbidity. This study assessed buprenorphine retention rates in veterans initiating OUD treatment, comparing veterans without PTSD to veterans with PTSD who were receiving versus not receiving concurrent trauma treatment. METHODS: This retrospective chart review examined consecutive referrals to buprenorphine maintenance (N?=?140). PTSD diagnosis was identified by chart review and retention was defined as continuous buprenorphine maintenance 6-months post-admission. Logistic regression analyses compared buprenorphine retention for veterans without PTSD and PTSD-diagnosed veterans who received concurrent trauma treatment to a reference group of PTSD-diagnosed veterans who did not receive trauma treatment. Models adjusted for opioid type, age, and service-connected status. RESULTS: Sixty-seven (47.9%) buprenorphine-seeking veterans carried a PTSD diagnosis; only 31.3% (n?=?21) received trauma treatment while in buprenorphine maintenance, with 11.9% (n?=?8) receiving evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD. Among PTSD-diagnosed veterans who received trauma treatment, 90.5% (n?=?19/21) were in buprenorphine maintenance at 6-months, compared to 23.9% (n?=?11/46) of PTSD-diagnosed veterans without trauma treatment, and 46.6% (n?=?34/73) of veterans without PTSD. In the full model, veterans with trauma treatment had 43.36 times greater odds of remaining in buprenorphine treatment than the reference group. CONCLUSIONS: Most PTSD-diagnosed veterans in buprenorphine treatment were not receiving trauma treatment. Those receiving concurrent trauma treatment had better retention, suggesting OUD and trauma can be simultaneously addressed. Future clinical trials should investigate trauma-focused treatment for veterans with comorbid PTSD who are seeking buprenorphine for OUD.