- 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Griffin Hospital, Derby, CT, USA.
- 2Helen Ross McNabb Center, Knoxville, TN, USA.
- 3Department of Internal Medicine, Griffin Hospital, Derby, CT, USA.
- 4Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Background: While Opioid use disorder (OUD)-related mortality is epidemic in the United States, regions like Appalachia are disproportionately affected. Moreover, a dual epidemic of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections and OUD-related admissions has been observed.
Objective: To evaluate sociodemographic characteristics of opioid-dependent patients admitted for medically managed withdrawal in East Tennessee and compare those with and without HCV.
Methods: Cross-sectional study of patients with an OUD admitted for treatment, comparing those with and without a history of HCV.
Results: The studied population was found to have high rates of HCV (36%), intravenous drug use (IVDU) (77%), polysubstance use (84%), previous incarceration (87%), and unemployment (80%). Patients with HCV, compared to those without, were significantly more likely to have a history of IVDU, IVDU complications, and polysubstance use.
Conclusions: This sample reflects the significant morbidity of OUD in East Tennessee. To prevent mortality, contributing factors such as polysubstance use and OUD treatment during incarceration need to be specifically addressed.