Substance Use, Dependence, and Service Utilization Among the U.S. Uninsured Nonelderly Population
Objectives. We examined the prevalence and correlates of substance use, dependence, and service utilization among uninsured persons aged 12 to 64 years. Methods. We drew study data from the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Results. An estimated 80% of uninsured nonelderly persons reported being uninsured for more than 6 months in the prior year. Only 9% of these uninsured persons who were dependent on alcohol or drugs had received any substance abuse service in the past year. Non-Hispanic Whites were an estimated 3 times more likely than Blacks to receive substance abuse services. Conclusions. Compared with the privately insured, uninsured persons had increased odds of having alcohol/drug dependence and appeared to face substantial barriers to health services for substance use problems.