Population-Based Estimates of Geographic Accessibility of Medication for Opioid Use Disorder by Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facilities from 2014 to 2020

Published in: Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 229, Part A (December 2021). doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.109107

Posted on RAND.org on October 22, 2021

by Jonathan Cantor, David Powell, Aaron Kofner, Bradley D. Stein

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Background

Understanding whether individuals have geographic accessibility to a substance use disorder treatment facility and a treatment facility that offers medication treatment for opioid use disorder (MOUD) can inform efforts to address the ongoing opioid crisis.

Methods

We used data from the National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Programs. First, we calculate the national share of treatment facilities that offer one type of MOUD or all forms of MOUD using a novel dataset of providers. Second, we quantify the share of counties with a treatment facility offering at least one type of MOUD. Finally, we calculate the share of the national population residing within a 10-mile radius of a treatment facility.

Results

The share of counties with a treatment facility offering a MOUD as a form of treatment rose from 30% to 45% from 2014 to 2020 while the share of counties with facilities offering all three forms of MOUD increased from 4% to 9%. Over 83% of the population lives within 10 miles of a facility offering MOUD treatment, and 42% of the population have a treatment facility that offers all three forms of MOUD within a 10-mile radius. Much of the difference between the county- and population-based measures is explained by more population dense areas having higher rates of facilities providing MOUD.

Conclusions

While the share of facilities within a county offering a MOUD is relatively small, the share of the population within 10 miles of such a facility is higher.

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