Opioid addiction is drastically undertreated
A homeless person with heroin use disorder in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Of the 2.1 million people who reported using heroin or abusing painkillers in 2017, only 680,000 sought treatment at reporting treatment facilities, according to a new USAFacts report.
Where it stands: That translates to only about 32% receiving treatment.
Details: Among those who said they needed treatment but did not receive it, cost was the most common reason.
- In the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 41% of respondents said they didn't have health insurance, their insurance didn't cover addiction treatment, or their cost-sharing was unaffordable even if they had coverage.
The bottom line: America's opioid problem is going to remain out of control until treatment becomes more available, and we make more of an effort to connect people with it.
Go deeper: The opioid epidemic is a global issue