Examining Outcomes associated with Delivering Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction through a Mobile Medication Unit

Pilot Project

Examining Outcomes associated with Delivering Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction through a Mobile Medication Unit

Abstract: This application proposes to examine the impact of a mobile treatment unit for opioid-dependent individuals compared with fixed sites. Despite the critical role mobile medication-assisted treatment (MAT) units could play in combatting the opioid epidemic, there is remarkably little research examining who is treated in these units and the outcome of these individuals compared with those treated in brick-and-mortar facilities. The proposed study will compare the implementation and outcomes of the Merakey Parkside Mobile Intake and Assessment Unit with those of Merakey’s fixed site substance abuse treatment locations. Specifically, we will: 1) compare the characteristics of individuals treated in the mobile unit to individuals enrolled in treatment at fixed sites; 2) estimate differences in treatment outcome for individuals treated in mobile versus fixed sites; and 3) conduct key informant interviews with clinicians working in and patients receiving care from the mobile unit to understand more about how treatment is delivered in a mobile unit and identify opportunities to improve services from the perspective of both the service providers and the individuals receiving care. The present study will leverage an academic partnership with Merakey and could dramatically improve public health by improving rapid access to and quality of community-based treatment of opioid use disorders.