Treatment

Prescription Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

The number of primary Rx opioid treatment admissions to LAC publicly funded SUD treatment programs decreased by 36% from FY1617 to FY1819, and then increased by 45% by FY2021  (Figure 1). 

Demographics

Rx opioid admissions were highest among those aged 26-34, then decreased with age (Figure 2). The proportion of admissions among those aged 45-54 decreased while the proportion for those aged 26-34 and aged 18-25 increased during FY1617-FY2021 (Figure 3).

Males accounted for 55% of primary Rx opioid treatment admissions to publicly funded treatment programs from FY1112-FY2021 in LAC (Figures 4-5).

Whites accounted for 56% of primary Rx opioid admissions, followed by Latinxs (26%), and Blacks (11%) (Figure 6). The proportion of Whites and Latinxs increased from FY1819-FY2021 (Figure 7).

Figure 2. Primary prescription opioid treatment admissions, by age, LAC, FY1112-FY2021
Source: LACPRS

Figure 3. Primary prescription opioid treatment admissions, by age, LAC, FY1112-FY2021
Source: LACPRS

Figure 4. Primary prescription opioid treatment admission, by gender, LAC, FY1112-FY2021
Source: LACPRS

Figure 5. Primary prescription opioid treatment admission, by gender, LAC, FY1112-FY2021
Source: LACPRS

Figure 6. Primary prescription opioid treatment admission, by race/ethnicity, LAC, FY1112-FY2021
Source: LACPRS

Figure 7. Primary prescription opioid treatment admission, by race/ethnicity, LAC, FY1112-FY2021
Source: LACPRS

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Using FDA-approved medications to complement behavioral therapy can be more effective than using either treatment method alone for treating opioid use disorders. However, the availability of MAT has been historically limited by several factors, some of which include a shortage of qualified prescribers, a lack of knowledge about these options by patients and health professionals, cultural resistance to the use of MAT, as well as financial and regulatory challenges. 

The rate per 1,000 residents of prescriptions for buprenorphine, a medication that can be used in MAT for opioid use disorders, increased from 2011 to 2018, decreased through 2020, then increased in 2021 (Figure 8).

Use of MAT among primary prescription opioid treatment admissions in LAC increased from 73.3% in FY1112 to 82.3% in FY1617, but decreased to 68.8% in FY1819 before increasing again to 72.8% in FY2021 (Figure 9). 

Figure 8. Buprenorphine prescriptions filled per 1,000 residents, LAC and CA, 2010-2021
Source: CDPH

Figure 9. Percent of primary prescription opioid treatment admissions prescribed MAT at admission, LAC, FY1112-FY2021
Source: LACPRS

References

Figures 1-7, 9 Los Angeles County Participant Reporting System data. Substance Abuse Prevention and Control, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. 

Figure 8. California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard. https://skylab.cdph.ca.gov/ODdash/. Accessed November 29, 2022.