Dying Waiting for Treatment: The Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Gap and the Need for Funding   [open pdf - 815KB]

"Every day in the United States, 78 people die from an opioid overdose - more than one person every 20 minutes. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids in America has quadrupled. This country is the midst of an epidemic, yet there is a devastating lack of capacity to treat those seeking help. Several recent studies have revealed that upwards of 80 percent of people in need of treatment are unable to access services - with many put on waiting lists for weeks or even months before there is capacity to care for them. More than 30 million people live in counties that do not have a single provider of medication assisted treatment. The vast majority of these are rural counties, where mental and behavioral health professionals are also scarce, leaving people in many regions of the U.S. without options for treatment. [...] With state budgets stretched to the brink, building capacity to meet the surge in demand has proven challenging. Republicans had the chance to bridge the treatment gap, but failed to do so. Earlier this year, the White House asked Congress for $920 million over two years to expand access to treatment in the states, as part of a $1.1 billion request to address the opioid epidemic. That $920 million would mean all 50 states would receive significant funding to make treatment available and affordable to those in need - a national response to a national epidemic."

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U.S. Senate Committee on Finance: http://www.finance.senate.gov/
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