Prevalence of Substance Use Disorders in Emergency Departments Examined in New Study

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

A study recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine examines the prevalence of alcohol and other substance use disorders (SUD) among emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Researchers used data from 2014 to 2018 and found that the annual average prevalence of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and SUD was 9.4% of emergency department visits and 11.9% of hospitalizations. Both estimates increased over time with emergency department visits increasing by 30% and hospitalizations by 57%. In addition, emergency department visits and hospitalizations from individuals with AUD or SUD, compared to individuals with neither AUD nor SUD, had higher percentages of Medicaid insurance, homelessness, coexisting depression, and injury/trauma.

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