Availability of Substance Use Disorder Treatment in Minoritized Racial/Ethnic Group Areas


This brief is one of a series of findings briefs documenting disparities in geographic access to health services for ZIP code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) containing a high proportion of minoritized racial/ethnic residents. This report looks at spatial availability and travel burden for substance use disorder care at the ZCTA level.

Key Findings:

  • The median distance to the nearest methadone treatment program across all rural ZCTAs was 27.7 miles. The median distance to the nearest methadone treatment program for urban ZCTAs was 8.0 miles.
  • Overall, rural ZCTAs were more distant from the nearest buprenorphine provider than urban ZCTAs at a median of 8.0 versus 4.2 miles respectively.
  • Access to buprenorphine providers appeared poorest for top American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) ZCTAs with 11.9% of rural and 10.6% of urban top AI/AN ZCTAs being more than 30 miles from the nearest buprenorphine provider. It is possible that residents of these ZCTAs are served by Indian Health Service providers.
Rural and Minority Health Research Center
Sophia Negaro, Gabriel Benavidez, Christina Andrews, Peiyin Hung, Melinda Merrell, Olivia Hinds, Jan Eberth, Janice Probst