La Maestra’s Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction Treatment Program will serve low-income, adults in San Diego County, California. The goal of this project is to increase access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services for patients with an opioid use disorder (OUD) seeking or receiving MAT and to decrease illicit opioid drug use and prescription opioid misuse at six-month follow-up. La Maestra expects to achieve this goal by reaching the following objectives: 1) conduct a total of 68 outreach events per year (two per month beginning the third month of project period), targeting populations at risk for OUD, including homeless and soon-to-be-released incarcerated individuals; 2) screen at least 24,000 total unduplicated patients (8,000 patients per year minimum) for substance use and co-occurring mental disorders using evidence-based screening tools; 3) provide onsite MAT using FDA-approved medications to a total of 300 unduplicated patients (100 patients per year); 4) document all visit data at in-take, three months post-intake, six months post-intake, and at discharge via face-to-face interviews and by using electronic health records and inputting data in SAMHSA’s Performance Accountability and Reporting System and 5) achieving a six-month follow-up rate of 80% for all unduplicated MAT patients.
In 2017, La Maestra served 47,866 patients. According to 2017 clinic data, 77% of patients served are living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, 22% of patients are uninsured and 80% are underinsured. In addition, 53% of patients are Hispanic/Latino and 60% prefer to be spoken to in a language other than English. In 2017, La Maestra diagnosed 1,087 patients with substance use disorders including tobacco use and 1,647 patients with other mental health disorders. According to the 2018 County-Level Estimates of Opioid Use Disorder and Treatment Needs in California, the death rate from all opioids was 7.2 per 100,000 people in San Diego County in 2016, totaling 238 deaths. According to the same source, 30,787 individuals ages 12 and older in San Diego County had an OUD, and 48% to 72% of these individuals did not have access to local opioid agonist treatment. Consequently, the treatment gap and the severity of overdose deaths in San Diego County remain a concern.
La Maestra will adhere to current Evidence Based Practices and expand its Wellness Supportive Services department to ensure that all patients seeking MAT services receive the comprehensive, culturally and linguistically competent care they require. In addition, performance assessment services for this program will be conducted by Dr. Andrew Sarkin, Ph.D., a third party evaluator from the University of San Diego’s Health Services Research Center (HSRC). HSRC is a comprehensive research unit that was established in 1991. Dr. Sarkin has over two decades of evaluation experience in behavioral health medicine and clinical psychology.