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Health Disparities in Prescribing Opioids

This section describes geographic, racial, gender, age, and socioeconomic disparities characteristic of the opioid epidemic as well as opioid prescribing.

Overview of Disparities in the Opioid Epidemic

CDC’s Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes – United States, 2018

  • This report summarizes the latest information available for various health outcomes, health behaviors, and prescribing patterns related to the drug problem in the United States. This report covers latest data available on rates of opioid prescribing, substance use disorder, nonfatal hospitalizations and emergency department visits, and overdose deaths. National information, and some state information, is presented to serve as a resource to help address the ongoing national problem of drug abuse, addiction, and overdose.

Highlights from the CDC’s Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes – United States, 2018

  • Presentation available for download, and includes highlights of the data, maps, tables, and charts from the second Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes – United States.

CHDIR Fact Sheet Health Disparities in Drug Induced Deaths

  • This CDC report includes key findings in drug-induced death disparities and recommends actions to reduce these disparities.

Healthy People 2020: Substance Abuse Disparities

  • Visit this website to see the latest data on who is abusing substances from Healthy People 2020.

Disparities in Opioid Prescribing


CDC Journal Article: Trends and Patterns of Geographic Variation in Opioid Prescribing Practices by State, United States, 2006-2017

  • This article addresses the question of how have key opioid prescription measures changed by state between 2006 and 2017 in the United States, and are changes evenly distributed across states?

CDC Vital Signs: Opioid Prescribing –Where you live matters

  • People receive different care depending on where they live. Healthcare providers play an important role in offering safer and more effective pain treatment — Access information, an infographic, and a video that discusses this important topic.

Disparities in SUD and OUD Treatment Services


Stark racial, financial divides found in opioid addiction treatment

Context Matters: Health Disparities in Substance Use Disorders and Treatment

  • This article discusses the disparities that exist in SUD and SUD treatment, as well as the role of cultural competence and social work education and training in the treatment of SUD.

How to Provide Equitable Health Care


SAMHSA: Behavioral Health Equity

  • This website provides information on providing quality health care for all populations regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and geographic location.