Substance Use and Recovery

County-level data and information about the Assessed Health Issue and Social Determinants of Health indicators can be found in the report appendices.

Key Findings

Residents engaging in substance use and recovery is all too common in the Ozarks Health Commission Region. Though there are limitations collecting and accessing secondary data that could be useful in completing a quantitative analysis discussing this topic, the qualitative information shared by experts and people in the community tells an important story. 

Information related to the number of OHC Region residents who have been diagnosed with alcohol or substance use disorder is limited to Medicare beneficiaries only. Data that is reflective of this subset of the population indicate that more than 3% have been diagnosed with substance use disorder (a rate higher than the Missouri average). The number of people diagnosed with alcohol use disorder is lower, less than 2%, and the Region has a rate lower than the Missouri and national averages. 

Alcohol and Substance Use Disorder Prevalence

The Springfield and Bolivar Communities each have higher than average rates of both alcohol and substance use disorder in the Medicare population. Two communities, Lebanon and Monett have substance use disorder rates that are lower than both the Missouri and national averages. Five of seven communities have lower than average rates of alcohol use disorder in the Medicare community. 

Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate

Though this data appears to show a low prevalence of alcohol and substance use disorders in the area, there are limitations with the data. Mortality data, however, is more representative of the entire population. During the same time period, OHC Region residents died due to drug poisoning at a rate that was greater than those who died of suicide, another dire mental health issue affecting the community. This mortality rate is lower than the Missouri average, but 6% greater than the national average. Mortality rates range greatly among OHC Region communities. The community with the highest rate, Springfield (27.5 per 100,000), has a rate more than double the Mountain View Community, which has the lowest mortality rate (11.2).