‘Concerning’ study finds Black, Hispanic patients get shorter treatment for opioid addiction

Adrianna Rodriguez, USA Today

Research has shown people of color are disproportionately impacted by drug overdose deaths and access to treatment is limited. But even if they do find treatment, a new study found white patients receive care for an opioid use disorder longer than Black and Hispanic patients.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School randomly sampled a database looking at prescriptions for buprenorphine – a drug that treats narcotic dependence – from 2006 to 2020. In 2020, they found white patients received treatment for a median of 53 days while Black and Hispanic patients received it for 44 and 35 days, respectively, according to the study published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.

“We wanted to break it down to granular data to really look at what is each patient experience … that way we can help inform policies and improve access,” said study author Huiru Dong, a postdoctoral research associate at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Read the entire USA Today article.

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