Background and Objectives
Only 10% of Americans with substance use disorders (SUDs) receive treatment with insufficient treatment access and screening practices proposed and potential contributing factors.
This retrospective cross-sectional study used National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data to assess individuals with SUDs receiving treatment between 2016 and 2019 (survey n = 12,111; weighted n = 12,394,214). Demographic, access, and screening characteristics were investigated as predictors of treatment receipt using time-series logistic regression analyses to test trends and assessed treatment receipt odds, controlling for demographic and treatment characteristics.
For those with past-year SUDs, 13.0% reported receiving past-year SUD treatment (survey n = 1605; weighted n = 1,612,154). The SUD treatment receipt rate remained statistically stable from 2016 to 2019, with a nonsignificant treatment receipt trend declining from 14% to 12%. Treatment changes were notable among Native Americans (+53.80%), Pacific Islanders (+94.10%), multiracial (−59.96%), ages 65+ (−70.18%), and ages 12−17 (−50.70%). In the regression model, race, sex, age, insurance status, and receiving mental health treatment were associated with SUD treatment receipt.
Discussion and Conclusions
The treatment gap remains substantial and stable. Annually, about 87% of Americans with SUDs are not receiving the treatment they need. Asian Americans were less likely and those attending general mental health services were more likely to receive treatment.
We present an updated SUD treatment gap evaluation, and identify access and screening characteristics associated with SUD treatment receipt. Policymakers, clinicians, and researchers must continue improving access and identification of those in need of care.