Stepped-wedge randomized controlled trial of a novel opioid court to improve identification of need and linkage to medications for opioid use disorder treatment for court-involved adults
In response to the opioid crisis in New York State (NYS), the Unified Court System developed a new treatment court model-the opioid intervention court-designed around 10 Essential Elements of practice to address the flaws of existing drug courts in handling those with opioid addiction via broader inclusion criteria, rapid screening, and linkage to medications to treat opioid use disorder (MOUD). The new court model is now being rolled out statewide yet, given the innovation of the opioid court, the exact barriers to implementation in different counties with a range of resources are largely unknown. We describe a study protocol for the development and efficacy-test of a new implementation intervention (Opioid Court REACH; Research on Evidence-Based Approaches to Court Health) that will allow the opioid court, as framed by the 10 Essential Elements, to be scaled-up across 10 counties in NYS. Using a cluster-randomized stepped-wedge type-2 hybrid effectiveness-implementation design, we will test: (a) the implementation impact of Opioid Court REACH in improving implementation outcomes along the opioid cascade of care (screening, referral, treatment enrollment, MOUD initiation), and (b) the clinical and cost effectiveness of Opioid Court REACH in improving public health (treatment retention/court graduation) and public safety (recidivism) outcomes. Opioid Court REACH has the potential to improve management of individuals with opioid addiction in the court system via widespread scale-up of the opioid court model across the U.S., should this study find it to be effective.
Elkington, K. S., Nunes, E., Schachar, A., Ryan, M. E., Garcia, A., Van DeVelde, K., . . . Wainberg, M. (2021). Stepped-wedge randomized controlled trial of a novel opioid court to improve identification of need and linkage to medications for opioid use disorder treatment for court-involved adults. J Subst Abuse Treat, 128, 108277. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108277