Risky Behaviors and Overdose Deaths Related to Illicit Drug Use

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2023
Anticipated completion date:
August 2024

Very little research has examined rural vs. urban differences in substance misuse and treatment access nationally. This study will investigate rural vs. urban variations in treatment utilization for alcohol use disorder (AUD) and, separately, drug use disorder (DUD).

Investigators will analyze data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) to yield nationally representative prevalence estimates of any treatment receipt and sources of treatment (e.g., inpatient/residential or outpatient centers) among persons satisfying criteria for past year AUD and DUD as well as the receipt of medication therapy among those with disorders that are treatable with medications (i.e., AUD and opioid use disorder, or OUD).

The aim is to provide up-to-date, nationally representative estimates of prevalence rates for treatment utilization and sources of treatment for AUD and DUD among rural and urban residents. These updated estimates will inform policy makers of the magnitude of any rural/urban inequities in treatment use, which could further raise awareness about the need to promote treatment utilization and also offer insight into where rural residents receive treatment, which could help guide further investments in those treatment sources.