Harm Reduction Approach to Increasing Self-reported Safe Medication Storage Among Pregnant and Parenting People Receiving Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

Elizabeth Grist, Bhushan Thakkar, Phoebe Dacha, Erika Lutins, Madison Maxwell, Caitlin E, Martin (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

ObjectivesThe expansion of access to buprenorphine-naloxone (BUP-NAL) for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) is critical to combat the overdose crisis. Evidence is lacking to guide providers on how to best promote BUP-NAL medication safety for their patients. This study assessed (1) the current medication storage practices among a sample of pregnant and parenting people receiving BUP-NAL for OUD; (2) the feasibility and acceptability of providing a lockbox for safe medication storage.MethodsPregnant and/or parenting patients receiving sublingual BUP-NAL in an outpatient OUD clinic were recruited between June and November 2021. Participants completed a baseline survey, received a lockbox, and a follow-up survey 3 to 8 weeks later. The primary outcome of current self-reported safe medication storage practice was defined by storing BUP-NAL in a locked/latched place "almost always" or "always" on the baseline survey. Outcomes were analyzed using simple proportions.ResultsSixty-three participants completed the baseline survey, and 50 completed the follow-up survey. Baseline survey results indicated that only a quarter of patients (26.6%) were practicing safe BUP-NAL medication storage practices. At follow up, 93.6% of patients were using the lockbox provided by the study, 93.4% reported being satisfied with the lockbox, and most participants (89.3%) reported safe BUP-NAL medication storage practices.ConclusionsMany pregnant and parenting patients with OUD receiving BUP-NAL do not store their medications safely. The provision of a lockbox as part of OUD treatment is a feasible, acceptable, and potentially effective harm reduction intervention.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Addiction Medicine
Volume17
Issue number2
Early online date27 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

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