Date of Award
College of Nursing
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Problem: In 2017 the United States declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. Since then, the opioid epidemic has been worsening and the rate of overdose deaths by drugs has been rising. In 2020, 91,799 drug overdoses were reported compared to 70,630 overdose deaths in 2019. Death by opioid and synthetic opioid overdose is prevalent among all racial and ethnic groups, however, not all people have equal access to treatment. Buprenorphine is an effective first-line medication for opioid use disorder that reduces the risk of overdose and serious opioid related complications. People of color receive a significantly lower amount of buprenorphine prescriptions than their White counterparts. Barriers contributing to the inaccessibility of opioid use disorder treatment include clinic location, stigmatization, prescription affordability, and lack of clinician cultural literacy.
Intervention: The focus of the project is to identify and address barriers that contribute to the inaccessibility of buprenorphine at a Suboxone clinic and compare the identified barriers and solutions provided by patients and staff to the literature. Barriers are identified based on the experience of the clinic’s patients and staff.
Measure: Semi-structured interviews of patients and staff questionnaires were completed to collect data regarding barriers and solutions to address said barriers.
Results: Barriers identified by the patients and staff that contribute to the inaccessibility of buprenorphine by non-White patients at the buprenorphine clinic are consistent with barriers expressed in the literature. These barriers include but are not limited to clinic location and transportation, stigmatization, prescription affordability, and lack of clinician cultural literacy.
Ismail, Maye, "Identifying and Addressing Racial Disparities at STEP’s Suboxone Clinic Program Requirements" (2022). Doctor of Nursing Practice Projects. 46.