Factors That Influence Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment

Authors: Dana Foney, PhD, MS | Shannon Mace, JD, MPH

Topics: Behavioral Health, Medicaid

Research Center: Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center

November 7, 2019

Given the dramatic increase in opioid-related overdoses and substance use disorders (SUD), the need for greater access to treatment is significant. Medications in conjunction with psychosocial and recovery support services [medication-assisted treatment (MAT)] and other SUD treatment services often remain underutilized in behavioral health settings. In addition, barriers to treatment include lack of qualified treatment providers, disparities in treatment program access, regulatory barriers, financial barriers, and negative perceptions associated with treatment.

This report examines factors that may influence access to MAT and to SUD treatment services, including negative perceptions associated with SUD treatment, cultural norms, and Medicaid and other insurance coverage. It also examines state-specific initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic and SUDs.

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