Study measures whether race affects access to overdose drugs

Study measures whether race affects access to overdose drugs
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A study of the nation’s counties has revealed that those with highly segregated white communities had more facilities that provide buprenorphine per capita, while counties with highly segregated African-American and Hispanic/Latino communities had more facilities to provide methadone per capita.

Both drugs are standard treatments for opioid use disorder.

Researchers studied data from the American Community Survey and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for 2016. They defined county-level capacity as the facilities’ means to provide methadone or buprenorphine per 100 000 population.

Nationwide, there were 18,868 facilities providing buprenorphine and 1,698 providing methadone.

With each 1 percent drop in probability of an African-American or Hispanic/Latino resident interacting with a white resident, there was an increase in the number of facilities providing methadone, 0.6 and 0.3, respectively.

With each 1 percent drop in the probability of a white resident interacting with an African-American or Hispanic/Latino resident, there was an increase in the number providing buprenorphine, 8.17 and 1.61, respectively.

More than 700 000 Americans have died of drug overdose since 1999. Of those, more than 350,000 died of an opioid-involved overdose.

An estimated 700,000 additional Americans will die of an opioid overdose in the next 10 years if current trends continue.

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