A lack of perceived need for treatment is still a key reason for the low rate of treatment in people with alcohol-use disorder and for the lack of progress in reducing the scale of this problem, according to an analysis of recent large surveys in the United States.
In the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) dataset, 7,009 respondents met the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol-use disorder (dependence or abuse), among whom 89.6 percent said they did not perceive a need for treatment or counseling for their alcohol use in the prior 12 months. In the 3,305 participants in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) who met the criteria for alcohol-use disorder, a similar rate of 89 percent said they did not think they needed treatment for alcohol-use treatment.
This is an important challenge for providers. How do we attract people who are not coerced and/or late stage? It’s time for providers to take responsibility for this.