Has Treatment for Substance Use Disorders Increased?

Has Treatment for Substance Use Disorders Increased?

Published: Mar 30, 2021
Publisher: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Office of Behavioral Health, Disability, and Aging Policy
Key Findings
  • There was a 3.9% increase in the total number of clients in care from 2015 to 2017. This increase was driven by a rise in the number of clients in outpatient treatment (6.6%), whereas the number of clients in inpatient and residential treatment declined substantially.
  • The number of persons treated for a SUD at a private doctor’s office increased 37% from 686,000 in 2015 to 943,000 in 2018.
  • In 2018, only 4.6%, 19.7%, and 9.2% of those with an alcohol use disorder, an opioid use disorder, or other drug use disorder in the past year, respectively, received any treatment at a specialty facility.

National survey data (2015-2018) collected by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides evidence that recent efforts to improve access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment have increased access to SUD treatment in private doctor’s offices and specialty facility outpatient settings. There were also substantial increases in use of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders. However, the findings also indicate that substantial unmet need for treatment remains among individuals with opioid use disorders and other SUDs.

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