Emergency Department Utilization for Substance Use-Related Disorders and Assessment of Treatment Facilities in New York State, 2011–2013

Rajvi J. Wani, Jennifer P. Wisdom, Fernando A. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Annually, 1.8 million New York (NY) residents experience substance use disorders (SUDs). Even though emergency departments (EDs) continue to experience high numbers of SUD-related visits, only 15% receive treatment. Objectives: This study estimates hospital-based EDs rates for SUDs in the State of New York. Also, the geographic distribution of substance use treatment centers and EDs are mapped to correlate utilization with access to care. Methods: The 2011–2013 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project’s NY State Emergency Department Database provided information on utilization of services in EDs, charges, diagnoses, and discharge, as well as patient demographic variables. All patients within NY who had visited the ED for SUDs comprised the study population. Geographic mapping of EDs and substance abuse treatment centers at the county-level is based on data from the National Emergency Department Inventory and National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, respectively. Results: A total of 492,419 ED visits for SUDs were reported through 2011–2013. Despite NY’s Medicaid expansion in 2012, ED visits increased in 2013. About $856 million was spent in treating SUDs in EDs, with average charge of $1,764 per visit. Conclusions/Importance: Alcohol and drug-induced mental disorders are increasingly prevalent in New York’s EDs. There is a need to develop health policies and programs to improve access to care for SUDs in urban states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-494
Number of pages13
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 23 2019


  • Emergency Departments
  • Medicaid
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • fees and charges
  • psychiatric emergency services
  • substance-related disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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