Exploring the effectiveness of a regional nurse practitioner led, long-acting injectable buprenorphine-based model of care for opioid use disorder

Teresa Strike, Dante D'Angelo-Kemp, Adam Searby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The introduction of long-acting injectable buprenorphine preparations for opioid use disorder has been widely heralded as a breakthrough treatment, with several studies indicating positive results when using these medications. In many locations, nurse practitioners prescribe, administer, and monitor long-acting injectable preparations. The objective of this paper is to explore whether a reduction in dispensed needles and syringes is attributable to increased nurse practitioner prescribing of LAIB. We used a retrospective audit of needles dispensed through the health service needle and syringe program vending machine, and individuals treated with long-acting injectable buprenorphine by the nurse practitioner led model. In addition, we examined potential factors that may influence changes in the number of needles dispensed. Linear regression found that each individual with opioid dependence treated with long-acting injectable buprenorphine was associated with 90 fewer needles dispensed each month (p < 0.001). The nurse practitioner led model of care for individuals with opioid dependence appears to have influenced the number of needles dispensed at the needle and syringe program. Although all confounding factors could not be discounted entirely, such as substance availability, affordability, and individuals obtaining injecting equipment elsewhere, our research indicates that a nurse practitioner led model of treating individuals with opioid use disorder influenced needle and syringe dispensing in the study setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1137
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • buprenorphine
  • injectable
  • nurse practitioners
  • nurse-led clinics
  • opioid substitution treatment
  • opioid-related disorders

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