American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) have been disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis. In Michigan, AI/ANs have the highest rate of overdose death.
Previous literature has pointed to particular challenges in implementing medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in programs that serve AI/AN populations. A new analysis, Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Among American Indians and Alaska Natives: Availability & Use Across the State of Michigan, explores publicly available data from the 2018 National Survey on Substance Abuse Treatment Services and the 2017 Treatment Episode Dataset to assess the availability and use of MOUD across specialty treatment programs in Michigan.
Findings highlight a gap in MOUD availability and use for maintenance purposes in specialty treatment across Michigan overall, and especially across certain facilities and special populations that are experiencing the lowest access to MOUD. Expanding use of these treatments should involve concerted efforts to address implementation challenges affecting AI/AN communities and to design programs congruent with traditional values and local needs.