Opioid treatment programs growing, and expanding into other medications | Addiction Professional Magazine Skip to content Skip to navigation

Opioid treatment programs growing, and expanding into other medications

August 23, 2017
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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The number of federally regulated opioid treatment programs (OTPs) in the U.S. has been increasing considerably, and data demonstrate that many of the programs have expanded beyond their methadone treatment roots.

According to a newly released report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than half of OTPs (58%) also offered buprenorphine treatment by the end of last year. In 2003, only 11% of OTPs offered buprenorphine in addition to methadone. The report's data were generated from SAMHSA's National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services.

In addition, in 2015 a total of 23% of OTPs offered injectable naltrexone for the treatment of opioid dependence, a figure more than double that seen in 2011.

The total number of OTPs in the U.S. increased from 1,067 in 2003 to 1,482 at the end of 2016, according to the survey. Through 2015, more than 356,000 individuals were receiving methadone in the clinic programs. “Clients receiving treatment with methadone accounted for approximately 21 to 25 percent of all substance abuse treatment clients each year,” the SAMHSA report states.

The report adds, “The dramatic increase in the number of clients receiving buprenorphine through treatment facilities is an indication of the demand for safe and effective medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder in the context of a broader treatment program.”