Only One-Quarter of Adults Who Needed Opioid Use Disorder Meds in 2022 Received Them

Higher percentages of men and adults aged 35 to 49 years received medications for opioid use disorder
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THURSDAY, June 27, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Only one-quarter of adults who needed opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment in 2022 received medications for OUD, according to research published in the June 27 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Deborah Dowell, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues characterized U.S. adult populations who needed OUD treatment, received any OUD treatment, and received medications for OUD using data from the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The researchers found that 3.7 percent of U.S. adults aged ≥18 years needed OUD treatment in 2022. Only 25.1 percent of these received medications for OUD. Most adults who needed OUD treatment did not perceive that they needed it or they received OUD treatment without medications (42.7 and 30.0 percent, respectively). A higher percentage of non-Hispanic White adults received any OUD treatment compared with non-Hispanic Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino adults. Compared with women, and younger or older adults, higher percentages of men and adults aged 35 to 49 years received medications for OUD.

"Expanded communication about effectiveness of medications for OUD is needed to reduce nonfatal and fatal overdoses," the authors write. "Increasing awareness among persons who use drugs and their families, friends, and other contacts that medications for OUD are effective is critical."

One author disclosed ties to General Electric, 3M, and Pfizer.

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