Background: Extended-release buprenorphine (XR-BUP) are new pharmaceutical products that offer a one-week-, one-month- or six-months-long buprenorphine treatment for subjects with opioid use disorder (OUD). OUD is frequent in incarcerated populations, and XR-BUP has been suggested to be an interesting treatment option in prison. However, some opioid users have deemed that XR-BUP could constitute a threat to the individual freedom of occasionally using drugs, and was also at risk to be coercively used in some situations. It was thus needed to explore whether incarcerated people with OUD were ready to try XR-BUP formulations, and which reasons could warrant their possible interest or apprehension.
Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a survey performed between 12/02/2018 and 05/31/2019 among 366 patients with OUD. Participants were recruited in 68 addiction French settings, among which six were prison medical centers. Bivariable and multivariable comparisons between incarcerated and non-incarcerated interviewees with respect to their readiness to try XR-BUP and the reasons of interest in this new option. Odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals (aORs; 95%CI) were adjusted for gender, age category, level of education, and type of opioid agonist treatment.
Results: The data of 317 participants were included in the analyses. While 108 (48.9%) of the 221 non-incarcerated interviewees declared being ready to try XR-BUP, they were 63.5% (61 out of 96) among those incarcerated (p =0.016). Adjusted comparisons found that incarcerated were significantly less attracted by the potential of XR-BUP to reduce withdrawal symptoms (aOR= 0.54; 95%CI= 0.29 – 0.99), and to reduce misuse of buprenorphine (aOR= 0.56; 95%CI= 0.34 – 0.94), but more attracted by receiving a constantly efficacious treatment for a week or month (aOR= 2.91; 95%CI= 1.21 – 6.98), and have a more discreet treatment (aOR= 1.76; 95%CI= 1.01 – 3.10).
Conclusions: Relative to non-incarcerated subjects with OUD, those in prison were readier to try XR-BUP and they seemed more attracted by practicability and discretion features.