Addiction Treatment Reveals Racial Gaps In The US

Addiction Treatment Reveals Racial Gaps In The US

According to recent reports, people who suffer from opioid use disorder are being given evidence-based treatment in the U.S. However, there are a few gaps that have come to the fore, based on race. Thus, it is a clear marker for policy-makers and medical service providers to improve medical treatment facilities for such populations. A recent study on Medicaid recipients has shown these results. 

Addiction Treatment Reveals Racial Gaps In The US

Going by facts, opioid use disorder is a severe disorder and a leading cause of death in the U.S. The usage has also increased manifold among Medicaid subscribers. In the year 2014, it was a mere 3.3%. However, the percentage now is 5% in 2018. 

Addiction Treatment Reveals Racial Gaps In The US

More About The Disorder

Medicaid plays a huge role in people’s lives today. It is an important part of the healthcare system. A significant part of the population suffers from this disorder today. This trend of opioid use disorder has increased manifold due to the ongoing pandemic. Here drug overdose is the point of discussion. This explanation is for the uninitiated. More than 92,000 Americana died in the last year due to a drug overdose. These are the reports that were released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Opioids are natural or synthetic chemicals, that reduce the feeling of pain. They also include prescription pain relievers and heroin. These drugs are useful in treating chronic pain, acute pain, and as well as a cancer treatment. Many people are using these drugs for a better quality of life. They mainly reduce the pain in the body, by blocking receptors in the brain cells. However, these drugs also have certain side effects. They include drowsiness, mental confusion, and constipation to name a few. At very high doses, these can interfere with respiration. 

Effective Treatment

The only way to minimize mortality rates is through effective counseling and treatment. However, the Medicaid authorities need patients to approach them. Detection of the symptoms is as important. Most of the patients suffer from withdrawal symptoms, physical, and psychological problems. 

The state Medicaid expansion plan has opened more ways to access the treatment modalities from trusted partners. There is a significant number of Blacks who have signed up for the program. However, very few approach the authorities for treatment.  If records are to be believed, the number of Whites undergoing treatment is much higher. Moreover, the Black population does not always stick to the treatment plan. Discontinuity has been a constant feature amongst such enrollees. The same applies to pregnant women. Many pregnant women from minority communities are suffering silently. One factor behind this is that they are more inclined towards pregnancy care. 

Moreover, several bodies who are researching this have pointed towards systemic racism. Apart from that the rules of sales of Methadone, one of the potent opioids being used, has to be changed. It will be one of the most effective tools to tackle the issues. It has also been noted that seniors, who are black are also a victim of racism in the U.S. Additionally, most minorities go to minority doctors for such cases. However, there may a dearth in major clinics of such individuals. This has also led to a lack of proper treatment. 

Such diverse results have come up after the state’s Medicaid teams shared the data from amongst several samples of the population. State Medicaid officials are in discussions to raise awareness regarding this disparity. Moreover, the formulation of more policies and their implementation is the key to solve the issue. The paper released on this subject has asked for state-wise action. Otherwise, the Opioid epidemic seems to be reaching epic proportions. 


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