Assessing Naltrexone Prescribing and Barriers to Initiation for Alcohol Use Disorder: A Multidisciplinary, Multisite Survey

Jonathan G. Leung, Prasanna P. Narayanan, Matej Markota, Nathaniel E. Miller, Kemuel L. Philbrick, M. Caroline Burton, Robert W. Kirchoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To survey barriers in prescribing naltrexone for alcohol use disorder. Methods: A 12-question survey related to naltrexone prescribing patterns, perceptions, and knowledge was sent to 770 prescribers in the departments of internal medicine, family medicine, and psychiatry across a health system with sites in Arizona, Florida, and Minnesota. Results: Responses were obtained and included for 146/770 prescribers (19.0% response rate). Most respondents were in the department of internal medicine (n = 94, 64.4%), but the departments of psychiatry (n = 22, 15.1%) and family medicine (n = 30, 20.5%) were also represented. Only 34 (23.3%) respondents indicated they had prescribed naltrexone in the previous 3 months. The most common reasons for not prescribing naltrexone were “unfamiliarity with naltrexone for treatment of alcohol use disorder” and “patients do not have appropriate follow-up or are not in a formal treatment program.” Compared with those representing internal/family medicine, psychiatry respondents were more likely to prescribe naltrexone and answer knowledge questions correctly. Conclusion: In this survey among primarily non-addiction-trained prescribers, a disparity was shown for prescribing naltrexone and in knowledge barriers between staff in internal/family medicine and psychiatry. There exist opportunities for education and quality improvement that promote the prescribing of naltrexone for alcohol use disorder by non-addiction specialists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number856938
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
StatePublished - May 10 2022


  • alcohol use disorder
  • naltrexone
  • prescribing
  • substance use disorder
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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