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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

LSU: Interventions for Incarcerated Adults with Opioid Use Disorder in the U.S. – A Systematic Review with a Focus on Social Determinants of health

In their recent article Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health (LSUHSC SoPH) PhD student Ms. Olivia Sugarman along with Drs. Wennersthrom, Bachhuber, Bruno and Springagate review and study how incarceration poses significant health risks for people involved in the criminal justice system. As the world’s leader in incarceration, the United States incarcerated population is at higher risk for infectious diseases, mental illness, and substance use disorder. Previous studies indicate that the mortality rate for people coming out of prison is almost 13 times higher than that of the general population; opioids contribute to nearly 1 in 8 post-release fatalities overall, and almost half of all overdose deaths. Given the hazardous intersection of incarceration, opioid use disorder (OUD), and social determinants of health, we systematically reviewed recent evidence on interventions for OUD implemented as part of United States criminal justice system involvement, with an emphasis on social determinants of health (SDOH).  Evidence supports medication treatment administered throughout the period of criminal justice involvement as an effective method of improving post-release outcomes in individuals with criminal justice involvement. While few studies included SDOH components, many investigators recognized SDOH needs as competing priorities among justice-involved individuals. This review suggests an evidence gap; evidence-based interventions that address OUD and SDOH in the context of criminal justice involvement are urgently needed.

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