Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 34, Issue 12, pp 2723–2725 | Cite as

Access to Treatment for Drug Use Disorders at US Health Centers: a National Study

  • Benjamin BearnotEmail author
  • Danielle R. Fine
  • Nancy A. Rigotti
  • Travis P. Baggett
Concise Research Reports


Drug use disorders (DUDs) and associated overdose deaths are a growing public health concern in the USA, contributing to the first decrease in American life expectancy in over 100 years.1 Treatment for drug addiction remains uncommon despite the availability of evidence-based behavioral and pharmacologic treatments for many substances. We previously described the need for and barriers to alcohol use disorder care at federally funded US health centers,2 which provided safety-net care to more than 27 million Americans in 2017, but access to DUD care in this population remains underexplored. The objective of the current study was to examine the continuum of DUD care, location of treatment delivery, and barriers to receiving drug use treatment among health center attendees with symptoms of DUD.


We analyzed data from adult (≥ 18 years old) respondents to the 2014 Health Center Patient Survey. This was a nationally representative, cross-sectional, in-person survey of...



Dr. Baggett is financially supported by the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine Transformative Scholars Program.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The Partners Human Research Committee found this study to be exempt

Conflict of Interest

Benjamin Bearnot has no conflicts to report. Danielle Fine has no conflicts to report. Travis Baggett receives royalties from UpToDate for authorship of a topic review on homeless health care. Nancy Rigotti receives royalties from UpToDate for reviews of tobacco cessation topics and consults with Achieve Life Sciences regarding tobacco cessation and received a research grant and been as an unpaid consultant to Pfizer regarding tobacco cessation.


The funding agency had no role in any aspect of this study.


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Bearnot
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Danielle R. Fine
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nancy A. Rigotti
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Travis P. Baggett
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of MedicineMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Tobacco Research and Treatment Center, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of MedicineMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Research, Quality, and Policy in Homeless Health CareBoston Health Care for the Homeless ProgramBostonUSA

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