MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rebecca L. Haffajee, J.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Department of Health Management & Policy
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Evidence suggests that the availability of medications to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) has been slow to expand, particularly in rural areas, despite the efficacy and effectiveness of these medications in reducing overdose deaths and other adverse life outcomes. We were interested in understanding the characteristics of counties both with high need (as measured by above-national rates in opioid overdose deaths) AND low provider capacity to deliver medications to treat OUD in 2017.
We found that such “opioid high-risk” counties were likely to be in the East North Central (e.g., Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana), South Atlantic (e.g., North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia), and Mountain (e.g., New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada) regions.
We also found that these opioid high-risk counties were more likely to have higher rates of unemployment and less likely to have fewer primary care clinicians or be micropolitan Continue reading