The adoption of medications in substance abuse treatment: Associations with organizational characteristics and technology clusters

Hannah K. Knudsen, Lori J. Ducharme, Paul M. Roman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Despite growing interest in closing the "research to practice gap", there are few data on the availability of medications in American substance abuse treatment settings. Recent research suggests that organizational characteristics may be associated with medication availability. It is unclear if the availability of medications can be conceptualized in terms of "technology clusters", where the availability of a medication is positively associated with the likelihood that other medications are also offered. Using data from 403 privately funded and 363 publicly funded specialty substance abuse treatment centers in the US, this research models the availability of agonist medications, naltrexone, disulfiram, and SSRIs. Bivariate logistic regression models indicated considerable variation in adoption across publicly funded non-profit, government-owned, privately funded non-profit, and for-profit treatment centers. Some of these differences were attenuated by organizational characteristics, such as accreditation, the presence of staff physicians, and the availability of detoxification services. There was some evidence that naltrexone, disulfiram, and SSRIs represent a group of less intensely regulated medications that is distinct from more intensely regulated medications. These types of medications were associated with somewhat different correlates. Future research should continue to investigate the similarities and differences in the predictors of medication availability across national contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-174
Number of pages11
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Mar 16 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This manuscript was prepared with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Grant No. 53400). Data collection activities were supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA13110 and R01DA14482). The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of the funding agencies.


  • Agonist medications
  • Disulfiram
  • Naltrexone
  • Technology transfer
  • Treatment services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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