Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Opioid addiction in the United Sates has reached epidemic proportions in recent years, demanding targeted efforts in both clinical medicine and public health. This analysis outlined a demographic profile of recent prescription pain reliever (PPR) misusers and compared those characteristics to the population of individuals currently enrolled in addiction treatment. To explain the difference in numbers between these two populations, reported reasons for non-treatment seeking are analyzed by demographic characteristic. This discussion reviews existing literature profiling PPR misusers and treatment-seekers, as well as research exploring barriers to addiction treatment. A secondary analysis was performed using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), collected in 2015. Recent PPR misuse (within the past 30 days) and current treatment enrollment status was compared to a number of demographic characteristics, exploring discrepancies between categories. Reported barriers to treatment were evaluated by demographic characteristic. Analysis uncovered a number of high-risk demographic groups that are proportionately represented in addiction treatment facilities: homosexuals, divorcees, young adult males aged 18-34, and those with only a high school diploma or GED. It is hoped that this study informs a targeted clinical and public health approach to addressing opioid addiction.

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