Natasa Gisev PhD, Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Louisa Degenhardt PhD, Professor, Sarah Larney PhD, NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow, Briony Larance PhD, Lecturer, Amy Gibson PhD, Research Fellow, Jo Kimber PhD, Research Fellow, Lucy Burns PhD, Associate Professor.
A comparative study of opioid substitution therapy utilisation among opioid-dependent men and women
Article first published online: 20 MAY 2014
© 2014 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
Drug and Alcohol Review
Volume 33, Issue 5, pages 499–505, September 2014
How to Cite
Gisev, N., Degenhardt, L., Larney, S., Larance, B., Gibson, A., Kimber, J. and Burns, L. (2014), A comparative study of opioid substitution therapy utilisation among opioid-dependent men and women. Drug and Alcohol Review, 33: 499–505. doi: 10.1111/dar.12151
- Issue published online: 4 SEP 2014
- Article first published online: 20 MAY 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 APR 2014
- Manuscript Received: 25 NOV 2013
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Grant Number: #1005668
- Australian Institute of Criminology
- National Health and Medical Research Council Research Fellowships. Grant Numbers: #1041742, #1035149
- Australian Government
- Service Improvements
- opioid-related disorders;
- opioid substitution treatment;
- drug utilization
Introduction and Aims
Few population-based studies have examined differences in opioid substitution therapy (OST) treatment utilisation between men and women. Using a population of opioid-dependent people in New South Wales, Australia, first-episode and long-term OST treatment utilisation profiles were compared between men and women, differentiating between treatment initiation in the community and in custody.
Design and Methods
Retrospective data linkage study using records of new OST entrants (2001–2010) and custody episodes (2000–2012). First OST treatment episode and overall treatment utilisation characteristics were compared between men and women initiating treatment in the community or in custody. Treatment retention was evaluated at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after first commencing OST and overall, as the median proportion of follow-up time spent in treatment.
There were 15 600 new OST entrants in the cohort—10 930 were men (70.1%) and 4670 women (29.9%); 12 584 (80.7%) initiated treatment in the community and 3016 (19.3%) in custody. More men initiated OST in custody (24.0% vs. 8.3%, P < 0.001) and only received OST in custody (57.5% vs. 41.8%, P < 0.001). Women were retained longer in their first OST treatment episode at all four time points in both treatment settings and in treatment overall (community: 46.6% vs. 39.1%, P < 0.001; custody: 41.3% vs. 30.8%, P < 0.001).
Discussion and Conclusions
There are a number of key differences in OST treatment utilisation profiles between men and women. Whereas men commonly initiate and only receive OST in custody, treatment retention is higher among women, independent of the setting treatment is initiated. [Gisev N, Degenhardt L, Larney S, Larance B, Gibson A, Kimber J, Burns L. A comparative study of opioid substitution therapy utilisation among opioid-dependent men and women. Drug Alcohol Rev 2014;33:499–505]