Evaluating interventions to facilitate opioid agonist treatment access among people who inject drugs in Toronto, Ontario during COVID-19 pandemic restrictions

Original research
by
Bouck, Zachary et al

Release Date

2022

Geography

Canada

Language of Resource

English

Full Text Available

No

Open Access / OK to Reproduce

No

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Objective

We used segmented regression analyses to evaluate the joint effects of the provincial COVID-19 emergency declaration, federal OAT exemptions, and interim treatment guidance—all implemented between March 17th–23rd, 2020—on the weekly proportion of participants enrolled in OAT (i.e., ≥1 day(s) covered with methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone), with an opioid-related overdose (based on emergency department visits and hospitalizations), and who died (all-cause), and the weekly proportion of OAT-enrolled participants receiving take-home doses (i.e., ≥1 day(s) covered) and undergoing urine drug screening.

Findings/Key points

Changes to OAT provision following provincial COVID-19 restrictions were associated with an immediate and sustained increase in take-home dose coverage among OAT-enrolled participants, without corresponding increases in opioid-related overdoses among all participants.

Design/methods

Interrupted time series using administrative data (n=359)

Keywords

Transitions in care/treatment
Policy/Regulatory
Evidence base
Outcomes
Overdose
Mortality
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