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In 2017, Connecticut’s death rate from opioid overdose death was twice the national rate. Women, sexual minorities, and transgender individuals are all particularly at risk for opioid use disorder and overdose death as the result of prescribing practices, minority stressors, and social and behavioral determinants. According to a study of sexual minorities and incarceration, 9.3% of men in prison, 6.2% of men in jail, 42.1% of women in prison, and 35.7% of women in jail self-identify as a sexual minority. In addition, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 2% of respondents reported incarceration in the past year. Given how these populations are impacted by OUD and incarceration, it is crucial to tailor recruitment efforts for opioid treatment programs, such as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).

Community Renewal Team (CRT) is Connecticut’s oldest and largest community action organization. After receiving a Medication Assisted Treatment – Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction (MAT-PDOA) grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2018, CRT was enabled to implement a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program for individuals experiencing Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) through the use of Suboxone (buprenorphine). This program is predominantly targeted to recently incarcerated individuals, as well as women and sexual and gender minorities. CRT now seeks to increase the number of women, sexual minorities (lesbian, gay, and bisexual), and transgender individuals so that they represent 20%, 18%, and 4% of enrollees respectively. Given this increased risk of opioid addiction and the importance of recruiting these populations to MAT programs, CRT will use the findings and recommendations from this project to adjust current recruitment practices and implemented new ones in order to increase the recruitment of these populations to CRT MAT.

The objectives of this project are as follows:

1. Provide recommendations for recruitment strategies tailored to CRT MAT’s target populations. 2. Given research limitations during Covid-19, identify best practices in MAT website content and design based on MAT-PDOA grantees’ websites.

Publication Date

Spring 2020


public health, opioids, opioid use disorder, marginalized populations, Community Renewal Team, New Haven, Connecticut


Public Health

Identifying Mechanisms for Increased Recruitment of Marginalized Populations in Medication Assisted Treatment Programs