Skip to main content
Psych Congress  

Unmet Needs in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorder

Margaret Duncan, MD, PhD; Julia Snider, PhD; Mahlet Tebeka, MS; Dana Goldman, PhD; Mugdha Gore, PhD, BPharm
Alkermes, Inc.

This poster was presented at the 30th annual  Psych Congress, held Sept. 16-19, 2017, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Background: Rates of substance use disorder (SUD) continue to increase in the United States. Despite increased awareness, many patients do not receive treatment.

Methods: The 2013 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services and National Survey on Drug Use and Health were analyzed. States were ranked by the ratio of people who received substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in a specialty facility to the number of people who needed but did not receive treatment. These data were compared to the healthcare benefits provided by Medicaid, the most common payer for SUD treatment, in each state to identify potential areas for improvement.

Results: For every person receiving SUD treatment in a specialty facility in the United States in 2013, 18 more needed but did not receive treatment. The states with the highest proportion of untreated patients were Texas, Louisiana, North Dakota, Arkansas, and Mississippi, whereas Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Colorado had the lowest proportion of untreated patients. Four of the 5 states with the greatest unmet needs did not adopt Medicaid expansion, whereas only 1 state with the highest proportion of treated patients did not. Limitations and exclusions to Medicaid benefits in states with the greatest proportion of untreated patients were more common than in states with the lowest proportion.

Conclusions: Access to care may be an important factor in the management of SUDs. Reviewing current benefits and setting goals at the state level may focus efforts and result in increased numbers of patients receiving treatment.

Back to Top