HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM)

Prevention of Opioid Diversion by Young Adult Patients: Primary and Specialty Care Practices and Perspectives

Principal Investigator: Brooke Molina, PhD

Funding Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

This project is part of the NIH HEAL InitiativeSM (Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative) that is funding hundreds of projects designed to understand and tackle the national opioid epidemic. Our specific project is attempting to understand primary care and specialist practice factors that affect treatment of pain experienced by young adult patients.  Our goals include understanding factors that influence diversion of prescribed opioids -- from the prescriber's perspective.

Approximately 100 physicians, advanced practice providers, and nurses will participate in this study.  Participants include those providing primary and specialty (e.g., dentistry, orthopedics) care.

The research study involves two activities. The first activity is a one-hour videoconference with the primary or specialty practice. This guided group discussion will aid the research team in understanding provider factors pertinent to the reduction of young adult patient diversion of opioids. Topics will include current prescribing practices, current prescribing guidelines, barriers to the implementation of such guidelines, attitudes and beliefs about opioid management and supports that are available for the implementation of prescribing guidelines. The second study activity includes the completion of an electronic survey.

Our immediate goals, through group conversations and electronic survey, are to describe variability in opioid prescribing practices, brainstorm about modifiable practices and resources, understand challenges to implementing evidence-based practices and guidelines, and generate opportunities for optimizing safe practices and preventing diversion of opioids by young adult patients.