15 Key Buprenorphine Dosing Recommendations for Jail-Based Treatment Programs

Findings from JCOIN’s Massachusetts Clinical Research Center

Medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) (e.g., buprenorphine) is an evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). While dispensing buprenorphine in correctional settings has become a more common practice, corrections staff cite MOUD diversion as a reason for not offering the medications in jails and prisons. In a 2023 study, JCOIN researchers Drs. Elizabeth Evans, Ekaterina Pivovarova, Thomas Stopka, Claudia Santelices, Warren Ferguson, and Peter Friedmann from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, Baystate Health, and Tufts University outline key steps MOUD program treatment staff can implement in order to prevent diversion. The study also provides guidance to corrections and lawmakers as they consider establishing and expanding MOUD treatment in correctional settings.

Recommended protocols span the entire MOUD dispensing cycle: from dispensing preparation and process to supervision following medication initiation, and ensuring proper consumption to handling suspected diversion.

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This summary is based on the findings from the following publication:

Evans, E. A., Pivovarova, E., Stopka, T. J., Santelices, C., Ferguson, W. J., & Friedmann, P. D. (2022). Uncommon and preventable: Perceptions of diversion of medication for opioid use disorder in jail. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 138, 108746.