OHSU-PSU School of Public Health researchers collaborated with the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission to lead an unprecedented study that inventoried and analyzed the gaps in select services for substance use disorder prevention, harm reduction, and treatment and recovery, bringing health equity issues to the forefront in Oregon.
The data shows the state would need to double its services to adequately address the current health needs of Oregonians struggling with addiction and also highlights significant gaps in healthy equity, including access to services and availability of culturally relevant care.
Oregon ranks sixth in the nation for deaths due to alcohol and second in the nation for deaths due to drug use. The gap analysis was led by Elizabeth Needham Waddell, associate professor in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health.
The OHSU-PSU research team highlight three significant needs across Oregon’s continuum of care:
● There is a 49% gap in substance-use disorder services needed by Oregonians – substantial need for services persists statewide across the substance-use disorder continuum of care, including prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services.
● Most substance use disorder service providers lack the capacity to meet the demand for services.
● Statewide gaps in equity and access include the insufficient provision of culturally relevant services to protected classes, language interpretation, and translation services, and a workforce that does not represent the demographics of the state.