Number of Hospital Programs Treating Opioid Addiction Decline

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The number of hospital programs that treat opioid addiction is shrinking, at a time when the opioid epidemic is growing, a new study concludes.

Researchers at Ohio University analyzed data for 3,365 hospitals across the country between 2010 and 2015. They found these hospitals showed a net loss of inpatient and outpatient opioid-related programs. In 2010, they found 334 of the hospitals surveyed offered inpatient services, while 588 offered outpatient services. By 2015, the number of inpatient programs had dropped to 327, while the number of outpatient programs declined to 577, the researchers report in the journal Health Services Research.

“Hospitals are actually backing away from these services even while we have this discussion of an epidemic and the need for services for that,” study author Cory Cronin said in a news release.

The study found larger hospitals, and those that are nonprofit or have a religious affiliation, are more likely to offer opioid programs.

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