Opioid Treatment Accessibility in Maricopa County, Arizona: A Network Analysis of Certified Opioid Treatment Programs and Buprenorphine Providers
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe United States opioid epidemic has been at the forefront of national response efforts. Despite tightening regulations on opioid prescribing, opioid addiction continues to be problematic. This study was designed to analyze opioid treatment accessibility in Maricopa County, Arizona, one of the most populous counties in the U.S. Based on data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 656 buprenorphine providers and 182 certified opioid treatment center locations in Maricopa County were incorporated to evaluate for treatment accessibility. Using GIS network analyst tools, distance to the closest treatment location was determined for each Maricopa County census tract. To further visualize accessibility, 2.5, 5, and 10-mile service areas were also located. The analysis demonstrated route distances increased moving outwards from the urban city areas of Maricopa County. Likewise, service areas also tended to branch outward from the urban city core. Spatially, rural areas are disproportionately impacted with regards to opioid treatment accessibility and populations living in these areas are at higher risk for encountering barriers to opioid treatment. These findings provide key information that may assist in population health outreach services and potentially useful data for public health policy efforts aimed at improving access to opioid addiction treatment.