Hospitalization with co-occurring opioid use disorder (OUD) and infections presents a critical time to intervene to improve outcomes for these intertwined epidemics that are typically managed separately. A surge in life-threatening infectious diseases associated with injection drug use, including bacterial and fungal infections, HIV, and HCV accounts for substantial healthcare utilization, morbidity, and mortality. Infectious Disease (ID) specialists manage severe infections that require hospitalization and are a logical resource to engage patients in medication treatment for OUD (MOUD). An injectable long-acting monthly formulation of buprenorphine (LAB) has a potential advantage for initiating MOUD within hospital settings and bridging to treatment after discharge.
A randomized multi-site trial tests a new model of care (ID/LAB) in which OUD and infections are managed by ID specialists and hospitalists using LAB coupled with referrals to community resources for long-term MOUD. A sample of 200 adults admitted to three U.S. hospitals for OUD and infections are randomly assigned 1:1 to ID/LAB or treatment as usual (TAU). The primary outcome measure is the proportion of patients enrolled in effective MOUD at 12 weeks after randomization. Secondary outcomes include relapse to opioid use, adherence to infectious disease treatment, infection morbidity and mortality, and drug overdose.
We describe the design, procedures, statistical analysis, and early implementation issues of this randomized trial.
Study findings will provide insight into the feasibility and effectiveness of integrated treatment of OUD and serious infections and have the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality in this vulnerable population.

Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.