Facilitating factors and barriers for use of medications to treat opioid use disorder (MOUD) among justice-involved individuals in rural Appalachia

Michele Staton, Erika Pike, Martha Tillson, Michelle R. Lofwall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this qualitative study is to assess facilitating factors and barriers for medications to treat opioid use disorder (MOUD) initiation among justice-involved individuals in one rural Appalachian community, as well as how those factors may differ across the three types of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications. Qualitative interviews were conducted with rural justice-involved individuals (N = 10) with a history of opioid use in the target community. Overall, participants demonstrated knowledge of the different types of MOUD and their pharmacological properties, but limited overall health literacy around opioid use disorder and MOUD treatment. Treatment access was hampered by transportation, time burdens, and costs. Findings call for research into improving health literacy education, training, and resources to decrease stigma and increase access to MOUD, particularly in light of the ongoing opioid crisis. State policies also need to increase access to all FDA medications among justice-involved individuals, as well as supporting a care continuum from facility entry, release, and community re-entry.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to recognize the support and contribution of the leadership of the Kentucky Department of Corrections as a partner on this project. Views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect views of the Department, but rather only the participants in the study. This research and the preparation of this manuscript were supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) R34 DA045856 (MS).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • criminal justice
  • opioid treatment
  • opioid-related disorders
  • rural health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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