1 million Americans have recovered from opioid use disorder, study estimates

An estimated 1.2 million Americans have achieved long-term recovery from opioid use disorder, according to an study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

For the study, researchers from Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital analyzed data from the 2017 National Recovery Survey, which featured a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults who reported resolving an opioid issue. Researchers compared this group to a sample of adults who achieved long-term recovery from alcohol use disorder.

They found people who achieved long-term opioid recovery were more likely to use the following resources compared to individuals who recovered from alcohol use disorder:

  • Formal addiction treatment
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Recovery support services
  • Mutual help, such as Narcotics Anonymous

"We didn't find those differences in the first year, and this is important because taken together it suggests that individuals with an opioid problem might require additional treatment or additional resources to achieve longer and more stable recovery duration," study author Lauren Hoffman, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Massachusetts General and Boston-based Harvard Medical School, said in a news release.

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