There is a significant gap between the availability of opioid addiction treatment in the U.S. and the services required to successfully address the nation’s opioid epidemic, according to a new analysis by amfAR. The analysis was first published in the blog Health Affairs.
amAR’s Public Policy team investigated the availability of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in substance abuse treatment facilities nationwide using data obtained from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Currently, there are three drugs widely considered to be the gold standard in the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD): methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.
Of the more than 12,000 U.S. drug addiction treatment facilities, only 41 percent offered at least one kind of medication for opioid addiction. Only 2.7 percent offered all three. And just 3 percent of U.S. treatment facilities that accept Medicaid offered all three.
The findings were picked up by the news site Vox, which highlighted amfAR’s Opioid & Health Indicators database, a comprehensive source of information on health statistics, available health services, and policies related to drug use and treatment in each state.
“If we don’t provide even the bare minimum in evidence-based treatment, this crisis will keep getting worse,” writes reporter German Lopez in his article “To understand why America’s opioid epidemic keeps getting worse, just look at this map.”
Lopez added, “More than showing the specific counties and states that don’t have access to some kinds of treatment and medications, amfAR’s map shows that America isn’t truly serious about dealing with its opioid epidemic.”
Read Lopez’s full article on Vox.