Treatment

Prescription Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

The number of primary Rx opioid treatment admissions to LAC publicly funded SUD treatment programs increased 120% from FY0506 to FY1617, then decreased 36% in FY1819 (Figure 1). 

Figure 1. Primary prescription opioid treatment admission, LAC, FY0506-FY1819
Source: LACPRS

Demographics

Rx opioid admissions increased with age, peaked at ages 45-54, then decreased (Figure 2). The proportion of admissions among those aged 45-54 steadily decreased as those for ages 26-34 increased during FY0506-FY1819 (Figure 3).

Males accounted for 56% of primary Rx opioid treatment admissions to publicly funded treatment programs from FY0506-FY1819 in LAC (Figure 4). Males persisted to account for the majority of admissions during this period, but difference between genders decreased with similar proportions in FY1718-FY1819 (Figure 5).

Whites accounted for 60% of primary Rx opioid admissions, followed by Latinxs (22%), and Blacks (10%) (Figure 6). The proportion of whites decreased following FY1112, and in Latinxs increased from FY0506-FY1819 (Figure 7).

Figure 2. Primary prescription opioid treatment admission, by age, LAC, 2004-2017
Source: LACPRS

Figure 3. Primary prescription opioid treatment admission, by age, LAC, FY0506-FY1819
Source: LACPRS

Figure 4. Primary prescription opioid treatment admission, by gender, LAC, FY0506-FY1819
Source: LACPRS

Figure 5. Primary prescription opioid treatment admission, by gender, LAC, FY0506-FY1819
Source: LACPRS

Figure 6. Primary prescription opioid treatment admission, by race/ethnicity, LAC, FY0506-FY1819
Source: LACPRS

Figure 7. Primary prescription opioid treatment admission, by gender, LAC, FY0506-FY1819
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 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 challenge.

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 2014 and plateaued, while the rate of buprenorphine prescriptions in the state steadily increased since 2011 (Figure 8).

Use of MAT among primary prescription opioid treatment admissions in LAC increased from 69.2% in FY0910 to 82.3% in FY1617, but decreased 68.8% in FY1819 (Figure 9). 

Figure 8. Buprenorphine prescriptions filled per 1,000 residents, LAC and CA, 2008-2018
Source: CDPH CURES

Figure 9. Percent of primary prescription opioid treatment admissions prescribed MAT at admission, LAC, FY0506-FY1819
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 Department of Justice. Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES).