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Drug Alcohol Depend ; 229(Pt A): 109176, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517124


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 and resulting mitigation measures in the United States (US) brought about limited access to medical care that has been linked to increases in mental health problems, excessive substance use, and drug overdoses. The increase in co-prescription of benzodiazepines and opioids may indicate population-level changes in health behaviors that can be exacerbated by limited access, hence necessitating the tracking of these drugs during COVID-19. We evaluated the impact of the declaration of COVID-19 as a US national emergency on prescription patterns in 2020. METHODS: Prescriptions of benzodiazepines and opioids were analyzed using data aggregated on a weekly basis across 38 states over the January 2019-December 2020 period. Data were from Bamboo Health Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and covered all individuals regardless of insurance status. Generalized additive models estimated the effects of the March 13, 2020 declaration on proportion of prescriptions to all controlled substances by comparing volumes before to after the week of March 13 in 2020 (range: January 27-May 24) and comparing this trend to its 2019 counterpart. RESULTS: When comparing the January 27-March 9 period to the March 16-May 24 period in 2020, there was a statistically significant 2.0% increase in the proportion of benzodiazepine dispensations to all controlled substances, and a significant 1.7% mean decrease in proportion of opioid dispensations to all controlled substances. A significant return approaching pre-declaration levels was observed only for opioids (beginning week of May 18, 2020). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on dispensations of benzodiazepines and opioids across the US. Continued monitoring of prescription trends and maintenance of adequate and accessible access to mental healthcare are important for understanding public health crises related to substance use.

Analgesics, Opioid , COVID-19 , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Benzodiazepines , Controlled Substances , Drug Prescriptions , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
J Am Board Fam Med ; 34(6): 1071-1073, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515527


This issue of the JABFM features research on a broad array of clinical topics. The topics of 5 articles involve controlled substances, including a sobering article on the risks of amphetamines in older adults. An excellent quick reference guide for managing common COVID-19 symptoms is presented. Two other articles consider hypertension treatment in primary care, demonstrating that treating blood pressure is anything but straightforward. Several additional clinical topics include mononucleosis, influenza, and the impact of home life on childhood weight and eating habits. A study from Virginia underscores that primary care, as a system, is distressed. A review of the existing literature on "slow medicine" comes to important conclusions. Some health systems are partnering with local resources to practically address such social determinants as food insecurity. Not surprisingly, family physicians are filling gaps in emergency care around the country.

COVID-19 , Hypertension , Aged , Child , Controlled Substances , Humans , Hypertension/diagnosis , Hypertension/drug therapy , Physicians, Family , SARS-CoV-2
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 79(8): e97, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309588


This article has been withdrawn due to a publisher error that caused the article to be duplicated. The definitive version of this article is published under DOI 10.1093/ajhp/zxab293.

Controlled Substances , Patient Discharge , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Prescriptions , Gabapentin , Humans , Hydrocodone , Practice Patterns, Physicians'