JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Opioid treatment at release from jail using extended-release naltrexone: a pilot proof-of-concept randomized effectiveness trial

Joshua D Lee, Ryan McDonald, Ellie Grossman, Jennifer McNeely, Eugene Laska, John Rotrosen, Marc N Gourevitch
Addiction 2015, 110 (6): 1008-14
25703440

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Relapse to addiction following incarceration is common. We estimated the feasibility and effectiveness of extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) as relapse prevention among opioid-dependent male adults leaving a large urban jail.

DESIGN: Eight-week, proof-of-concept, open-label, non-blinded randomized effectiveness trial.

SETTING: New York City jails and Bellevue Hospital Center Adult Primary Care clinics, USA.

PARTICIPANTS: From January 2010 to July 2013, 34 opioid-dependent adult males with no stated interest in agonist treatments (methadone, buprenorphine) received a counseling and referral intervention and were randomized to XR-NTX (n = 17) versus no medication (n = 17) within one week prior to jail release.

INTERVENTION: XR-NTX (Vivitrol(®) ; Alkermes Inc.), a long-acting injectable mu opioid receptor antagonist.

MEASURES: The primary intent-to-treat outcome was post-release opioid relapse at week 4, defined as ≥10 days of opioid misuse by self-report and urine toxicologies. Secondary outcomes were proportion of urine samples negative for opioids and rates of opioid abstinence, intravenous drug use (IVDU), cocaine use, community treatment participation, re-incarceration and overdose.

FINDINGS: Acceptance of XR-NTX was high; 15 of 17 initiated treatment. Rates of the primary outcome of week 4 opioid relapse were lower among XR-NTX participants: 38 versus 88% [P<0.004; odds ratio (OR) = 0.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.01-0.48]; more XR-NTX urine samples were negative for opioids, 59 versus 29% (P<0.009; OR = 3.5, 95% CI = 1.4-8.5). There were no significant differences in the remaining secondary outcomes, including rates of IVDU, cocaine use, re-incarceration and overdose.

CONCLUSION: Extended-release naltrexone is associated with significantly lower rates of opioid relapse among men in the United States following release from jail when compared with a no medication treatment-as-usual condition.

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