The UNLOC-T trial: implementing depot buprenorphine in NSW correctional facilities

Author: Adrian Dunlop Bethany White Jillian Roberts Michelle Cretikos Dena Attalla Rod Ling Andrew Searles Judith Mackson Michael Doyle Elizabeth McIntyre John Attia Christopher Oldmeadow Mark Howard Terry Murrell Paul S Haber Nicholas Lintzeris

Theme: Clinical Research Year: 2021

Background: Opioid agonist treatment is effective but resource intensive to administer safely in custodial settings, leading to significant under-treatment of opioid dependence in these settings worldwide. This study assessed the safety of depot buprenorphine in custodial settings. Methods: We conducted an open-label, non-randomised trial in seven correctional centres in New South Wales, Australia. Sixty-seven men and women, aged≥18 years of various security classifications with a diagnosis of moderate to severe DSM-5 opioid use disorder currently serving a custodial sentence of ≥6 months were recruited between November 2018 and July 2019. Patients not in opioid agonist treatment at recruitment commenced depot buprenorphine (CAM2038 weekly for 4 weeks then monthly); patients already stable on daily oral methadone treatment were recruited to the comparison arm. Results: Retention in depot buprenorphine treatment was 92%. No diversion was identified. HCV antibody prevalence was similar between groups (74% vs, 84%, p=0.182) although depot buprenorphine patients were much more likely to be HCV RNA positive (33% vs, 4%, p

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