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Health Care Financ Rev. 1997 Spring;18(3):5-17.

The drug abuse treatment gap: recent estimates.

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  • 1Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, USA.


There is a widely acknowledged problem of drug abuse in the United States, but there is no widely accepted estimate of the number who need treatment for drug abuse. In this article, the authors present new estimates of the numbers of persons in this country who need and receive treatment. These estimates are derived from improved definitions and statistical estimating methods applied to the national Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDS). There are two separate estimates (based on severity) of people needing treatment, yielding a combined total of 7.1 million people. These new estimates are crucial to better resource planning and allocation.

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