Extended-Release Naltrexone: A Qualitative Analysis of Barriers to Routine Use

Kelly Alanis-Hirsch, Raina Croff, James H. Ford, Kim Johnson, Mady Chalk, Laura Schmidt, Dennis McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The Medication Research Partnership (a national health plan and nine addiction treatment centers contracted with the health plan) sought to facilitate the adoption of pharmacotherapy for alcohol and opioid use disorders. Qualitative analysis of interviews with treatment center change leaders, individuals working for the manufacturer and its technical assistance contractor, and health plan managers extracted details on the processes used to order, store, bill for, and administer extended-release naltrexone. Qualitative themes were categorized using domains from the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (intervention characteristics, outer setting, inner setting, and provider characteristics).Characteristics of XR-NTX that inhibited use included the complexity of ordering and using the medication; cost was also a barrier. Outer setting barriers reflected patient needs and external health plan policies on formulary coverage, benefit management, and reimbursement. Program structures, the lack of physician linkages, a culture resistant to the use of medication, and unease with change were inner setting elements that limited use of XR-NTX. Patient stereotypes and a lack of knowledge about XR-NTX affected practitioner willingness to treat patients and prescribe XR-NTX. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research provided a useful lens to understand and interpret the processes affecting access to XR-NTX.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-73
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Barriers
  • Consolidated framework for implementation research
  • Extended-release naltrexone
  • Naltrexone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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