Spatially Extended Treatment Effect Analysis of Access to MOUD Resources and Changing Policies (021)


Study Information

Across the country, various public health interventions, opioid use policies, and criminal justice policies have emerged in response to the opioid epidemic in recent years. Many of the policies help improve access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and related services. However, the impact of improving access to these resources on health outcomes can vary substantially in different local contexts under various policies.

In response, The University of Chicago is developing a geospatial model to decompose and quantify the impact of access to MOUD and related services into different policy scenarios to inform future policy-making. This project will measure how local policies affect the impact of access to medication and service resources on opioid-related health outcomes, and build a risk environment warehouse to index all policy variables, both by spatial scale (census, tract, zip code, and county) and time (year).

Study Settings: Treatment/Healthcare Settings

Study Team


Marynia Kolak, MS, MFA, PhD
The University of Chicago

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Study Aims

• Understand how spatial effects impact regional access to MOUD resources, public health harm reduction interventions or criminal justice policies

• Understand how sensitive opioid-related deaths or overdoses are to changes in regional access to MOUD resources

• Examine how certain areas are affected more severely by access to MOUD resources than others. In other words, how consistent is the intervention effect (i.e., change in access to MOUD resources) across different zip codes and counties? If there are heterogeneity treatment effects, what contextual factors (policy variables) can help explain these effects?

Research Type

Modeling Project