80 Percent of Addicts Lack Access to Treatment

A recent report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that 80 percent of people addicted to opioids are not receiving treatment.  Lack of capacity and access to treatment are cited as significant issues. As reported in The Atlantic:

The study found that the most common treatments for opioid addiction are self-help groups and outpatient methadone clinics. The authors also found that many places lack sufficient drug-treatment programs, and only 22 percent of addicts received any kind of treatment in the 2009-2013 survey period. Their findings echo a March study that found that because of a lack of capacity, there are nearly a million opioid addicts who would not be able to access treatment, even if they wanted to.

What’s more, some state Medicaid programs restrict access to methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine, three drugs that ease opioid withdrawal. In 2013, the final year of the data that the authors of the JAMA study examined, the American Society of Addiction Medicine found that only 28 states covered all three drugs on their Medicaid programs, according to Stateline, and some of those who do cover the drugs require prior authorizations and impose lifetime limits.

For more information read the full article in The Atlantic.

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