Increasing collaboration on substance use disorder research with primary care practices through the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network

Laura Mae Baldwin, Brenda Mollis, Elizabeth Witwer, Jacqueline R. Halladay, Tom Ludden, Nancy Elder, Hazel Tapp, Katrina E. Donahue, Deborah Johnson, Kathleen Mottus, Ardis L. Olson, Elizabeth Needham Waddell, Rowena J. Dolor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) called for its national nodes to promote the translation of evidence-based interventions from substance use disorder (SUD) research into clinical practices. This collaborative demonstration project engaged CTN-affiliated practice-based research networks (PBRNs) in research that describes aspects of opioid prescribing in primary care. Methods: Six PBRNs queried electronic health records from a convenience sample of 134 practices (84 participants) to identify the percent of adult patients with an office visit who were prescribed an opioid medication from October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016, and, of those, the percent also prescribed a sedative in that year. Seven PBRNs sent an e-mail survey to a convenience sample of 108 practices (58 participants) about their opioid management policies and procedures during the project year. Results: Of 561,017 adult patients with a visit to one of the 84 clinics in the project year, 22.9% (PBRN range 3.1%–25.4%) were prescribed opioid medications, and 52.1% (PBRN range 8.5%–60.6%) of those were prescribed a sedative in the same year. Of the 58 practices returning a survey (45.3% response rate), 98.1% had formal written treatment agreements for chronic opioid therapy, 68.5% had written opioid prescribing policies, and 43.4% provided reports to providers with feedback on opioid management. Only 24.1% were providing buprenorphine for OUD. Conclusion: CTN-affiliated PBRNs demonstrated their ability to collaborate on a project related to opioid management; results highlight the important role for PBRNs in OUD treatment, research, and the need for interventions and additional policies addressing opioid prescribing in primary care practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Electronic health records
  • Opioids
  • Practice-based research
  • Prescribing patterns
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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