the university health care system than among those treated in specialist addiction clinics. “Individuals with opioid use disorder rarely admit or self-identify themselves with opioid use problems,” Hser said. “[These findings] suggest that general health care systems need to establish a better infrastructure and training for primary care physicians to diagnose and treat opioid use disorder,”
More deaths occurred among African American and uninsured participants, the researchers found. They also suggested that improvements are needed in the training of primary care physicians to prevent, identify, diagnose and treat opioid addiction in the general health care system.
“I was surprised by the findings because one would potentially expect better health care outcomes for patients being served by a large health care system,” Hser said. “Instead, we found mortality rates much higher than either the general population or individuals treated in addiction specialty treatment programs.”