Effect of the Communities that HEAL intervention on receipt of behavioral therapies for opioid use disorder: A cluster randomized wait-list controlled trial

LaShawn Glasgow, Christian Douglas, Joel G Sprunger, Aimee N C Campbell, Redonna Chandler, Anindita Dasgupta, JaNae Holloway, Katherine R Marks, Sara M Roberts, Linda Sprague Martinez, Katherine Thompson, Roger D Weiss, Arnie Aldridge, Kat Asman, Carolina Barbosa, Derek Blevins, Deborah Chassler, Lindsay Cogan, Laura Fanucchi, Megan E HallTimothy Hunt, Elizabeth Jadovich, Frances R Levin, Patricia Lincourt, Michelle R Lofwall, Vanessa Loukas, Ann Scheck McAlearney, Edward Nunes, Emmanuel Oga, Devin Oller, Maria Rudorf, Ann Marie Sullivan, Jeffery Talbert, Angela Taylor, Julie Teater, Nathan Vandergrift, Kristin Woodlock, Gary A Zarkin, Bridget Freisthler, Jeffrey H Samet, Sharon L Walsh, Nabila El-Bassel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The U.S. opioid overdose crisis persists. Outpatient behavioral health services (BHS) are essential components of a comprehensive response to opioid use disorder and overdose fatalities. The Helping to End Addiction Long-Term® (HEALing) Communities Study developed the Communities That HEAL (CTH) intervention to reduce opioid overdose deaths in 67 communities in Kentucky, Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts through the implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs), including BHS. This paper compares the rate of individuals receiving outpatient BHS in Wave 1 intervention communities (n = 34) to waitlisted Wave 2 communities (n = 33).

METHODS: Medicaid data included individuals ≥18 years of age receiving any of five BHS categories: intensive outpatient, outpatient, case management, peer support, and case management or peer support. Negative binomial regression models estimated the rate of receiving each BHS for Wave 1 and Wave 2. Effect modification analyses evaluated changes in the effect of the CTH intervention between Wave 1 and Wave 2 by research site, rurality, age, sex, and race/ethnicity.

RESULTS: No significant differences were detected between intervention and waitlisted communities in the rate of individuals receiving any of the five BHS categories. None of the interaction effects used to test the effect modification were significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Several factors should be considered when interpreting results-no significant intervention effects were observed through Medicaid claims data, the best available data source but limited in terms of capturing individuals reached by the intervention. Also, the 12-month evaluation window may have been too brief to see improved outcomes considering the time required to stand-up BHS.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical Trials.gov http://www.

CLINICALTRIALS: gov: Identifier: NCT04111939.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111286
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StateE-pub ahead of print - Apr 5 2024

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Copyright © 2024. Published by Elsevier B.V.


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