Substance Use Disorders
- In response to the opioid overdose crisis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (CDC Guideline) in 2016, which included recommendations to initiate opioids carefully and only when expected benefits outweigh risks.1 Although opioid prescriptions have decreased in recent years,2 an estimated 9.4 million people misused opioids in 2020.3 Little is known about how prescriptions dispensed to opioid-naive individuals (i.e., those new to opioid therapy) have changed in recent years; previous research focused on commercially insured individuals from 2012 to 2017.
- Improving access to naloxone is an important public health strategy in the U.S. This study examines the state-level trends in naloxone dispensing from 2012 to 2019 for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- The use of multiple substances heightens the risk of overdose. Multiple substances, including alcohol, are commonly found among people who experience overdose-related mortality. However, the associations between alcohol use and the use of a range of other substances are often not assessed. Therefore, this study examines the associations between drinking patterns (e.g., binge drinking) and other substance use in the U.S., the concurrent use of alcohol and prescription drug misuse, and how other substance use varies by binge-drinking frequency.
- Approximately 20% of U.S. adults reported chronic pain in 2016.1 Opioids are often prescribed for chronic pain, but evidence suggests that benefits may be limited and harms may include addiction, overdose, and death.2,3 The 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (CDC Guideline) recommends nonpharmacologic and nonopioid pharmacologic therapies as preferred therapies for chronic pain.3 Prior research has examined opioid and nonopioid pharmacologic therapies4; little is known about how nonpharmacologic therapies are utilized for chronic pain.
- With a rapid increase in prescription opioid overdose deaths and a proliferation of pain clinics in the mid-2000s, Florida emerged as an epicenter of the opioid overdose epidemic. In response, Florida implemented pain clinic laws and operationalized its Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. This study examines the effect of these policies on rates of inpatient stays and emergency department visits for opioid-related overdoses.
- Concurrent prescribing of opioids and benzodiazepines is discouraged by evidence-based clinical guidelines because of the known risks of taking these medications in combination.
- Prescription opioids were responsible for approximately 17,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2016. One in five prescription opioid deaths also involve alcohol. Drinkers who misuse prescription opioids (i.e., use without a prescription or use only for the experience or feeling it causes) are at a heightened risk of overdose. However, little is known about the relationship between drinking patterns and prescription opioid misuse.
- Prescription opioids were involved in 17,087 deaths in 2016.1 Despite recent declines, opioid prescribing remains high and varies substantially across the country,2 and by specialty.3,4 However, little is known about current prescribing patterns across specialty groups. This study analyzes opioid prescribing by specialty and volume using the most recent national-level data.
- In 2015, opioid-involved overdoses accounted for 33,091 deaths in the U.S., 12,989 of which involved heroin.1 In addition to overdose deaths, many more individuals suffer nonfatal overdoses.2 No recent study has examined trends in opioid overdoses treated in hospital emergency departments (ED) separately for non-heroin opioids and heroin. This study analyzes trends and the associated direct medical costs for such ED visits.