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1.
Eur Addict Res ; 28(1): 80-86, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822119

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Opioid agonist treatment (OAT) is the first-line treatment for opioid dependence. Currently available OAT options comprise oral (methadone and morphine) and sublingual (buprenorphine) routes of administration. In Switzerland and some other countries, severely opioid-dependent individuals with insufficient response to oral or sublingual OAT are offered heroin-assisted treatment (HAT), which involves the provision of injected or oral medical heroin (diacetylmorphine [DAM]). However, many patients on treatment with injectable DAM (i-HAT) suffer from injection-related problems such as deteriorated vein status, ulcerations, endocarditis, and abscesses. Other patients who do not respond to oral OAT do not inject but snort opioids, and are not eligible for i-HAT. For this population, there is no other short-acting OAT with rapid onset of action available unless they switch to injecting, which is associated with higher risks. Nasal DAM (n-HAT) could be an alternative treatment option suitable for both populations of patients. METHODS: We present a case series of 3 patients on i-HAT who successfully switched to n-HAT. RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: This is the first description of the clinical use of the nasal route of administration for HAT. n-HAT may constitute an important risk-reduced rapid-onset alternative to i-HAT. In particular, it may be suited for patients with injection-related complications, or noninjecting opioid-dependent patients failing to respond to oral OAT.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Heroin/therapeutic use , Humans , Methadone/therapeutic use , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy
2.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 418, 2022 Mar 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770536

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Opioid treatment programs (OTPs) serve as daily essential services for people with opioid use disorder. This study seeks to identify modifications to operations and adoption of safety measures at Pennsylvania OTPs during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A 25-min online survey to clinical and administrative directors at all 103 state-licensed OTPs in Pennsylvania was fielded from September to November 2020. Survey domains included: 1) changes to services, client volume, hours and staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic 2) types of services modifications 3) safety protocols to reduce COVID-19 transmission 4) challenges to operations during the pandemic. RESULTS: Forty-seven directors responded, for a response rate of 45%. Almost all respondents reported making some service modification (96%, n = 43). Almost half (47%, n = 21) of respondents reported reductions in the number of clients served. OTPs were more likely to adopt safety protocols that did not require significant funding, such as limiting the number of people entering the site (100%, n = 44), posting COVID-safety information (100%, n = 44), enforcing social distancing (98%, n = 43), and increasing sanitation (100%, n = 44). Only 34% (n = 14) of OTPS provided N95 masks to most or all staff. Respondents reported that staff's stress and negative mental health (86%, n = 38) and staff caregiving responsibilities (84%, n = 37) during the pandemic were challenges to maintaining OTP operations. CONCLUSION: OTPs faced numerous challenges to operations and adoption of safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding mechanisms and interventions to improve adoption of safety protocols, staff mental health as well as research on patient experiences and preferences can inform further OTP adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic and future emergency planning.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
Am J Public Health ; 112(S2): S151-S158, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736599

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To explore the implementation and effectiveness of the British Columbia, Canada, risk mitigation guidelines among people who use drugs, focusing on how experiences with the illicit drug supply shaped motivations to seek prescription alternatives and the subsequent impacts on overdose vulnerability. Methods. From February to July 2021, we conducted qualitative interviews with 40 people who use drugs in British Columbia, Canada, and who accessed prescription opioids or stimulants under the risk mitigation guidelines. Results. COVID-19 disrupted British Columbia's illicit drug market. Concerns about overdose because of drug supply changes, and deepening socioeconomic marginalization, motivated participants to access no-cost prescription alternatives. Reliable access to prescription alternatives addressed overdose vulnerability by reducing engagement with the illicit drug market while allowing greater agency over drug use. Because prescriptions were primarily intended to manage withdrawal, participants supplemented with illicit drugs to experience enjoyment and manage pain. Conclusions. Providing prescription alternatives to illicit drugs is a critical harm reduction approach that reduces exposure to an increasingly toxic drug supply, yet further optimizations are needed. (Am J Public Health. 2022;112(S2):S151-S158. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306692).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , British Columbia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Emergencies , Humans
6.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 232: 109340, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1729685

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions in the delivery of health services, which may have adversely affected access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services. Medicaid expansion has been previously associated with increased access to SUD services for low-income adults. Thus, the pandemic may have differentially impacted overdose mortality depending on expansion status. This study examined trends in overdose mortality nationally and by state Medicaid expansion status from 2013 to 2020. METHODS: State-level data on overdose mortality were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's WONDER database for 2013-2020 (N = 408 state-years). The primary outcomes were drug and opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 residents. The primary exposure was Medicaid expansion status as of January 1st, 2020. Difference-in-difference (DID) models were used to compare changes in outcomes between expansion and non-expansion states after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: The U.S. experienced 91,799 drug overdose deaths in 2020, a 29.9% relative increase from 2019. Expansion states experienced an adjusted increase of 7.0 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 residents (95% CI 3.3, 10.7) and non-expansion states experienced an increase of 4.3 deaths (95% CI 1.5, 8.2) from 2019 to 2020. Similar trends were observed in opioid overdose deaths. In DID models, Medicaid expansion was not associated with changes in drug (0.9 deaths, 95% CI -2.0, 3.7) or opioid overdose deaths (0.8 deaths, 95% CI -1.8, 3.5). CONCLUSIONS: The increase in drug or opioid overdose deaths experienced during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic was similar in states with and without Medicaid expansion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Adult , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Humans , Medicaid , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
7.
Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy ; 17(1): 16, 2022 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1724512

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Timely data from official sources regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people who use prescription and illegal opioids is lacking. We conducted a large-scale, natural language processing (NLP) analysis of conversations on opioid-related drug forums to better understand concerns among people who use opioids. METHODS: In this retrospective observational study, we analyzed posts from 14 opioid-related forums on the social network Reddit. We applied NLP to identify frequently mentioned substances and phrases, and grouped the phrases manually based on their contents into three broad key themes: (i) prescription and/or illegal opioid use; (ii) substance use disorder treatment access and care; and (iii) withdrawal. Phrases that were unmappable to any particular theme were discarded. We computed the frequencies of substance and theme mentions, and quantified their volumes over time. We compared changes in post volumes by key themes and substances between pre-COVID-19 (1/1/2019-2/29/2020) and COVID-19 (3/1/2020-11/30/2020) periods. RESULTS: Seventy-seven thousand six hundred fifty-two and 119,168 posts were collected for the pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 periods, respectively. By theme, posts about treatment and access to care increased by 300%, from 0.631 to 2.526 per 1000 posts between the pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 periods. Conversations about withdrawal increased by 812% between the same periods (0.026 to 0.235 per 1,000 posts). Posts about drug use did not increase (0.219 to 0.218 per 1,000 posts). By substance, among medications for opioid use disorder, methadone had the largest increase in conversations (20.751 to 56.313 per 1,000 posts; 171.4% increase). Among other medications, posts about diphenhydramine exhibited the largest increase (0.341 to 0.927 per 1,000 posts; 171.8% increase). CONCLUSIONS: Conversations on opioid-related forums among people who use opioids revealed increased concerns about treatment and access to care along with withdrawal following the emergence of COVID-19. Greater attention to social media data may help inform timely responses to the needs of people who use opioids during COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Social Media , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Natural Language Processing , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
JAMA Intern Med ; 182(4): 407-417, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1711988

ABSTRACT

Importance: Successful treatment of opioid misuse among people with chronic pain has proven elusive. Guidelines recommend nonopioid therapies, but the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions for opioid misuse is uncertain. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) for the reduction of opioid misuse and chronic pain. Design, Setting, and Participants: This interviewer-blinded randomized clinical trial enrolled patients from primary care clinics in Utah between January 4, 2016, and January 16, 2020. The study included 250 adults with chronic pain receiving long-term opioid therapy who were misusing opioid medications. Interventions: Treatment with MORE (comprising training in mindfulness, reappraisal, and savoring positive experiences) or supportive group psychotherapy (control condition) across 8 weekly 2-hour group sessions. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes were (1) opioid misuse assessed by the Drug Misuse Index (self-report, interview, and urine screen) and (2) pain severity and pain-related functional interference, assessed by subscale scores on the Brief Pain Inventory through 9 months of follow-up. Secondary outcomes were opioid dose, emotional distress, and ecological momentary assessments of opioid craving. The minimum intervention dose was defined as 4 or more completed sessions of MORE or supportive group psychotherapy. Results: Among 250 participants (159 women [63.6%]; mean [SD] age, 51.8 [11.9] years), 129 were randomized to the MORE group and 121 to the supportive psychotherapy group. Overall, 17 participants (6.8%) were Hispanic or Latino, 218 (87.2%) were White, and 15 (6.0%) were of other races and/or ethnicities (2 American Indian, 3 Asian, 1 Black, 2 Pacific Islander, and 7 did not specify). At baseline, the mean duration of pain was 14.7 years (range, 1-60 years), and the mean (SD) morphine-equivalent opioid dose was 101.0 (266.3) mg (IQR, 16.0-90.0 mg). A total of 203 participants (81.2%) received the minimum intervention dose (mean [SD], 5.7 [2.2] sessions); at 9 months, 92 of 250 participants (36.8%) discontinued the study. The overall odds ratio for reduction in opioid misuse through the 9-month follow-up period in the MORE group compared with the supportive psychotherapy group was 2.06 (95% CI, 1.17-3.61; P = .01). At 9 months, 36 of 80 participants (45.0%) in the MORE group were no longer misusing opioids compared with 19 of 78 participants (24.4%) in the supportive psychotherapy group. Mixed models demonstrated that MORE was superior to supportive psychotherapy through 9 months of follow-up for pain severity (between-group effect: 0.49; 95% CI, 0.17-0.81; P = .003) and pain-related functional interference (between-group effect: 1.07; 95% CI, 0.64-1.50; P < .001). Participants in the MORE group reduced their opioid dose to a greater extent than those in the supportive psychotherapy group. The MORE group also had lower emotional distress and opioid craving. Conclusions and Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial, among adult participants in a primary care setting, the MORE intervention led to sustained improvements in opioid misuse and chronic pain symptoms and reductions in opioid dosing, emotional distress, and opioid craving compared with supportive group psychotherapy. Despite attrition caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the vulnerability of the sample, MORE appeared to be efficacious for reducing opioid misuse among adults with chronic pain. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02602535.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chronic Pain , Mindfulness , Opioid-Related Disorders , Psychotherapy, Group , Adult , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Chronic Pain/drug therapy , Chronic Pain/psychology , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics , Primary Health Care
10.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(4)2022 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708513

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the opioid overdose crisis in the US. Rural communities have been disproportionately affected by opioid use and people who use drugs in these settings may be acutely vulnerable to pandemic-related disruptions due to high rates of poverty, social isolation, and pervasive resource limitations. METHODS: We performed a mixed-methods study to assess the impact of the pandemic in a convenience sample of people who use drugs in rural Illinois. We conducted 50 surveys capturing demographics, drug availability, drug use, sharing practices, and mental health symptoms. In total, 19 qualitative interviews were performed to further explore COVID-19 knowledge, impact on personal and community life, drug acquisition and use, overdose, and protective substance use adaptations. RESULTS: Drug use increased during the pandemic, including the use of fentanyl products such as gel encapsulated "beans" and "buttons". Disruptions in supply, including the decreased availability of heroin, increased methamphetamine costs and a concomitant rise in local methamphetamine production, and possible fentanyl contamination of methamphetamine was reported. Participants reported increased drug use alone, experience and/or witness of overdose, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Consistent access to harm reduction services, including naloxone and fentanyl test strips, was highlighted as a source of hope and community resiliency. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic period was characterized by changing drug availability, increased overdose risk, and other drug-related harms faced by people who use drugs in rural areas. Our findings emphasize the importance of ensuring access to harm reduction services, including overdose prevention and drug checking for this vulnerable population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Fentanyl , Harm Reduction , Humans , Pandemics , Rural Population , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Int J Drug Policy ; 102: 103608, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1693692

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Given the global economic recessions mediated by the COVID-19 pandemic and that many countries have implemented direct income support programs, we investigated the timing of the COVID-19 economic impact payments and opioid overdose deaths. METHODS: A longitudinal, observational study design that included data from the Ohio Department of Health was utilized. Statistical change point analyses were conducted to identify significant changes in weekly number of opioid overdose deaths from January 1 of 2018 to August 1 of 2020. Additional analyses including difference-in-difference, time series tests, interrupted time series regression analysis and Granger causality test were performed. RESULTS: A single change point was identified and occurred at week 16, 2020. For 2020, the median opioid overdose deaths numbers for weeks 1-16 and weeks 17-32 were 68.5 and 101, respectively. The opioid overdose deaths numbers from weeks 17-32 of 2020 were significantly higher than those in weeks 1-16 of 2020 and those in 2018 and 2019 (before and after week 16). The interrupted time series regression analysis indicated more than 203 deaths weekly for weeks 17-32 of 2020 compared to all other weeks. The result of the Granger causality test found that the identified change point (week 16 of 2020) directly influenced the increase in opioid overdose deaths in weeks 17-32 of 2020. CONCLUSION: The identified change point may refer to the timing of many factors, not only the economic payments and further research is warranted to investigate the potential relationship between the COVID-19 economic impact payments and overdose deaths.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opiate Overdose , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Opiate Overdose/epidemiology , Pandemics
12.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263583, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686104

ABSTRACT

A growing body of research has reported on the potential opioid-sparing effects of cannabis and cannabinoids, but less is known about specific mechanisms. The present research examines cannabis-related posts in two large online communities on the Reddit platform ("subreddits") to compare mentions of naturalistic cannabis use by persons self-identifying as actively using opioids versus persons in recovery. We extracted all posts mentioning cannabis-related keywords (e.g., "weed", "cannabis", "marijuana") from December 2015 through August 2019 from an opioid use subreddit and an opioid recovery subreddit. To investigate how cannabis is discussed at-scale, we identified and compared the most frequent phrases in cannabis-related posts in each subreddit using term-frequency-inverse document frequency (TF-IDF) weighting. To contextualize these findings, we also conducted a qualitative content analysis of 200 random posts (100 from each subreddit). Cannabis-related posts were about twice as prevalent in the recovery subreddit (n = 908; 5.4% of 16,791 posts) than in the active opioid use subreddit (n = 4,224; 2.6% of 159,994 posts, p < .001). The most frequent phrases from the recovery subreddit referred to time without using opioids and the possibility of using cannabis as a "treatment." The most frequent phrases from the opioid subreddit referred to concurrent use of cannabis and opioids. The most common motivations for using cannabis were to manage opioid withdrawal symptoms in the recovery subreddit, often in conjunction with anti-anxiety and GI-distress "comfort meds," and to enhance the "high" when used in combination with opioids in the opioid subreddit. Despite limitations in generalizability from pseudonymous online posts, this examination of reports of naturalistic cannabis use in relation to opioid use identified withdrawal symptom management as a common motivation. Future research is warranted with more structured assessments that examines the role of cannabis and cannabinoids in addressing both somatic and affective symptoms of opioid withdrawal.


Subject(s)
Medical Marijuana/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Social Support/psychology , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists/therapeutic use , Cannabinoids/pharmacology , Cannabis , Humans , Marijuana Abuse/psychology , Marijuana Smoking , Narcotics/therapeutic use , Social Media , Social Support/trends , Substance Withdrawal Syndrome/drug therapy
13.
J Prim Care Community Health ; 13: 21501319221076926, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685972

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Changes in health care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted opioid prescribing. This study evaluated the impact of restrictions on in-person care on opioid prescribing in the outpatient setting. The hypothesis was that after restrictions to in-person care were implemented, there would be a reduction in the number of chronic and non-chronic opioid prescriptions. METHODS: An interrupted time series analysis was conducted to compare the number of weekly opioid prescriptions between baseline (1/1/2019-3/14/2020), restriction (3/15/2020-6/6/2020), and reopening (6/7/2020-10/31/2020) periods at outpatient practices within a health system in Bronx, NY. Analyses were stratified by prescription type (chronic if the patient had been prescribed opioids for >90 days, or non-chronic). RESULTS: For chronic opioid prescriptions, the week restrictions were implemented, there was an increase in the number of prescriptions compared to what was predicted if there had been no interruption (34.8 prescriptions, 95% CI: 8.0, 61.7). Subsequently, the weekly trend in prescribing was not different in the restriction period or in the reopening period compared to the previous time periods. For non-chronic opioid prescriptions, during the restriction period, the weekly trend in prescribing decreased compared to baseline (-5.0 prescriptions/week, 95% CI: -9.0, -1.0). Subsequently, during the reopening period, the weekly trend in prescribing increased compared to the restriction period (6.4 prescriptions/week, 95% CI: 2.2, 10.7). CONCLUSIONS: Despite abrupt restrictions on in-person care, chronic opioid prescriptions did not decrease, which is evidence that providers evolved to meet patient needs. Changes in non-chronic prescriptions are likely related to patients electing not to pursue care for acute pain or challenges with appointment availability.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid , COVID-19 , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Prescriptions , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Outpatients , Pandemics , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , SARS-CoV-2
14.
J Addict Med ; 16(1): e44-e47, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1672291

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many pregnant patients experienced barriers in accessing opioid use disorder (OUD) medication. This project surveyed buprenorphine treatment clinics to determine how many accepted pregnant women before and then during the pandemic. Of those clinics accepting pregnant patients during the pandemic, respondents were asked what services were provided and what forms of payment they accepted. METHODS: Between July and September 2020, phone contact was made with every sixth unduplicated clinic in North Carolina listed in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration treatment locator (N = 490 clinics). The response rate was 53%. RESULTS: Of the 128 clinics responding, 62 clinics (48%) failed to treat pregnant patients both before and during the pandemic, whereas 66 clinics (52%) accepted pregnant patients before the COVID-19 pandemic, with only 44 (66%) of these clinics accepting pregnant patients during the pandemic. Thus, 33% fewer clinics accepted pregnant women for OUD treatment. Of these 44 clinics, 52% provided same-day intake, 45% prescribed naltrexone, and 57% offered detoxification with opioid agonists. Self-pay (95%), private insurance (77%), and Medicaid (55%) were accepted as payment. Clinics commonly reported providing individual counseling (86%). No clinics provided childcare or transportation. CONCLUSIONS: Almost half of the buprenorphine clinics in North Carolina turned away pregnant patients before the pandemic. During the pandemic, only 34% accepted pregnant patients, with 33% clinics that had provided medication treatment before the pandemic declining to treat pregnant patients for OUD. Thus, it is critical that policymakers ensure OUD treatment clinics accept pregnant patients.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Female , Humans , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
15.
J Addict Med ; 16(1): e59-e61, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1672294

ABSTRACT

Criminal justice involved individuals have a high rate of opioid overdose death following release. In March 2020, New York City jails released over 1000 inmates due to concern of COVID-19 outbreaks in county jails. The closure of addiction treatment clinics further complicated efforts to expand access to medications for opioid use disorder among criminal justice involved adults. The New York City Health + Hospitals Virtual Buprenorphine Clinic established in March 2020 offered low-threshold telemedicine-based opioid treatment with buprenorphine-naloxone, specifically for criminal justice involved adults post-release. We describe a case report of the novel role of tele-conferencing for the provision of buprenorphine-naloxone for jail-released adults with opioid use disorder experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The patient is a 49-year-old male with severe opioid use disorder released from New York City jail as part of its early release program. He then started using diverted buprenorphine-naloxone, and 1 month later a harm-reduction specialist at his temporary housing at a hotel referred him to an affiliated buprenorphine provider and then eventually to the New York City Health + Hospitals Virtual Buprenorphine Clinic, where he was continued on buprenorphine-naloxone, and was followed biweekly thereafter until being referred to an office-based opioid treatment program. For this patient, telemedicine-based opioid treatment offered a safe and feasible approach to accessing medication for opioid use disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic and following incarceration.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Telemedicine , Adult , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Criminal Law , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Sleep Med ; 90: 96-101, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655159

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE/BACKGROUND: No research has yet assessed the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on restless legs syndrome (RLS). We hypothesized that RLS symptom severity would be increased during the COVID-19 pandemic in a sample of patients with diagnosed RLS. PATIENTS/METHODS: The National RLS Opioid Registry is a longitudinal observational study of patients using opioid medications for treatment of RLS. Questionnaires assessing RLS symptom severity, medication dosages, sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety are administered at baseline and at recurring 6-month surveys. Survey responses from the outset of the pandemic in April/May 2020 were compared to responses completed by other participants in January/February 2020 (between-subjects analysis), as well as responses by the same participants at baseline, approximately six months later in September 2020 through February 2021, and approximately one year later in March through June 2021 (within-subjects analyses). RESULTS: These analyses provide evidence for higher RLS symptom severity scores at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. Symptom severity scores were still elevated on subsequent questionnaires completed over six months into the pandemic but had returned towards baseline by the spring of 2021. Participants with increases in RLS severity were significantly more likely than others to see increases in sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study demonstrating increased RLS symptom severity during the earliest stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings warrant similar investigations in other patient populations and suggest that clinicians should attend to RLS symptoms during times of socioeconomic and/or political uncertainty.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Restless Legs Syndrome , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Humans , Pandemics , Registries , Restless Legs Syndrome/diagnosis , Restless Legs Syndrome/drug therapy , Restless Legs Syndrome/epidemiology , Severity of Illness Index , Surveys and Questionnaires
17.
Curr Pain Headache Rep ; 26(2): 145-149, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650594

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Sedation for pain medicine procedures provides a unique challenge for proceduralists. Many patients dealing with pain are on chronic opioids and require higher doses of sedation for adequate procedural comfort. Chronic pain patients have various comorbidities including depression, neuropsychiatric disorders, peripheral vascular disease, and renal impairment, among others [1]. These confounding variables make the overall treatment of their pain condition much more challenging. RECENT FINDINGS: For patients requiring intravenous (IV) sedation for their pain procedures, the constant need for access may render them a "difficult stick" over time. Another factor to consider is the increasing requirements by the hospital system needing IV sedatives and analgesics in the intensive care unit and operating rooms during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Sublingual sufentanil (SST) provides an excellent analgesic option for patients undergoing interventional pain procedures. The use of SST allows hospitals to preserve IV agents for more critical areas and mitigates the difficulty of obtaining IV access in patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sufentanil , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Humans , Pain, Postoperative/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Sufentanil/therapeutic use , Tablets
18.
JAAPA ; 35(2): 57-59, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649920

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: The opioid epidemic has been the most significant public health crisis in the United States during the past 30 years. In 2021, it was second only to COVID-19. What happens when two epidemics collide and what should policy makers do about it? This article analyzes the burden of COVID-19 on patients with opioid addiction and discusses the beneficial policy changes that improve access to substance abuse care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
19.
J Hosp Palliat Nurs ; 24(2): 112-118, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642434

ABSTRACT

Patients with cancer are living longer, and many experience pain secondary to tumor invasion or as a consequence of cancer-directed therapies. Opioid use disorders and associated morbidity and mortality have increased with dramatic rise during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. National and international stakeholders have developed clinical practice guidelines in an effort to curb opioid misuse and overdose-related death. However, to ensure that patients with cancer do not experience barriers to adequate pain management, most of these guidelines are not intended for patients with cancer-related pain or for those receiving palliative or hospice care. Oncology, palliative, and hospice care providers are increasingly tasked with the management of severe disease-related pain in the setting of coexisting opioid use disorder without research on the most effective risk and harm reduction strategies to guide care. Clinicians should be familiar with addiction medicine and chronic pain literature and be able to incorporate some of these best practices. This case study reviews the management of severe cancer-related pain in a patient with co-occurring opioid use disorder, utilizing many of the best practices in available clinical practice guidelines for the management of chronic non-cancer-related pain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cancer Pain , Chronic Pain , Neoplasms , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Cancer Pain/drug therapy , Chronic Pain/complications , Chronic Pain/drug therapy , Humans , Neoplasms/complications , Opioid-Related Disorders/complications , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2
20.
J Orthop Surg Res ; 16(1): 736, 2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639192

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prior studies have assessed provider knowledge and factors associated with opioid misuse; similar studies evaluating patient knowledge are lacking. The purpose of this study was to assess the degree of understanding regarding opioid use in orthopaedic trauma patients. We also sought to determine the demographic factors and clinical and personal experiences associated with level of understanding. METHODS: One hundred and sixty-six adult orthopaedic trauma surgery patients across two clinical sites of an academic institution participated in an internet-based survey (2352 invited, 7.1% response rate). Demographic, clinical, and personal experience variables, as well as perceptions surrounding opioid use were collected. Relationships between patient characteristics and opioid perceptions were identified using univariate and multivariable logistic regressions. Alpha = 0.05. RESULTS: Excellent recognition (> 85% correct) of common opioids, side effects, withdrawal symptoms, and disposal methods was demonstrated by 29%, 10%, 30%, and 2.4% of patients; poor recognition (< 55%) by 11%, 56%, 33%, and 52% of patients, respectively. Compared with white patients, non-white patients had 7.8 times greater odds (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.9-31) of perceiving addiction discrepancy (p = 0.004). Employed patients with higher education levels were less likely to have excellent understanding of side effects (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.06, 95% CI 0.006-0.56; p = 0.01) and to understand that dependence can occur within 2 weeks (aOR 0.28, 95% CI 0.09-0.86; p = 0.03) than unemployed patients. Patients in the second least disadvantaged ADI quartile were more knowledgeable about side effects (aOR 8.8, 95% CI 1.7-46) and withdrawal symptoms (aOR 2.7, 95% CI 1.0-7.2; p = 0.046) than those in the least disadvantaged quartile. Patients who knew someone who was dependent or overdosed on opioids were less likely to perceive addiction discrepancy (aOR 0.24, 95% CI 0.07-0.76; p = 0.02) as well as more likely to have excellent knowledge of withdrawal symptoms (aOR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1-6.5, p = 0.03) and to understand that dependence can develop within 2 weeks (aOR 3.8, 95% CI 1.5-9.8, p = 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: Level of understanding regarding opioid use is low among orthopaedic trauma surgery patients. Clinical and personal experiences with opioids, in addition to demographics, should be emphasized in the clinical history.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Orthopedic Procedures/adverse effects , Pain, Postoperative/drug therapy , Wounds and Injuries/surgery , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Opioid-Related Disorders , Young Adult
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