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1.
N Engl J Med ; 386(21): 1967-1969, 2022 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1864790
2.
BMC Emerg Med ; 22(1): 62, 2022 04 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1840946

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Opioid-related overdoses cause substantial numbers of preventable deaths. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist available in take-home naloxone (THN) kits as a lifesaving measure for opioid overdose. As the emergency department (ED) is a primary point of contact for patients with high-risk opioid use, evidence-based recommendations from the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia THN practice guidelines include the provision of THN, accompanied by psychosocial interventions. However, implementation of these guidelines in practice is unknown. This study investigated ED opioid-related overdose presentations, concordance of post-overdose interventions with the THN practice guidelines, and the impact, if any, of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic on case presentations. METHODS: A single-centre retrospective audit was conducted at a major tertiary hospital of patients presenting with overdoses involving opioids and non-opioids between March to August 2019 and March to August 2020. Patient presentations and interventions delivered by the paramedics, ED and upon discharge from the ED were collated from medical records and analysed using descriptive statistics, chi square and independent T-tests. RESULTS: The majority (66.2%) of patients presented to hospital with mixed drug overdoses involving opioids and non-opioids. Pharmaceutical opioids were implicated in a greater proportion (72.1%) of overdoses than illicit opioids. Fewer patients presented in March to August 2020 as compared with 2019 (26 vs. 42), and mixed drug overdoses were more frequent in 2020 than 2019 (80.8% vs. 57.1%). Referral to outpatient psychology (22.0%) and drug and alcohol services (20.3%) were amongst the most common post-discharge interventions. Naloxone was provided to 28 patients (41.2%) by the paramedics and/or ED. No patients received THN upon discharge. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights opportunities to improve ED provision of THN and other interventions post-opioid overdose. Large-scale multi-centre studies are required to ascertain the capacity of EDs to provide THN and the impact of COVID-19 on opioid overdose presentations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opiate Overdose , Aftercare , Analgesics, Opioid , COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Patient Discharge , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tertiary Care Centers
3.
Subst Abus ; 43(1): 988-992, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1795544

ABSTRACT

Background: The co-occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic and opioid epidemic has increased the risk of overdose and death for patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). COVID-19 has also exacerbated already limited access to opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND). In this context, we aim to increase access to OEND for patients at risk for opioid overdose. Methods: Medical student volunteers were trained to conduct telephone-based OEND, and subsequently contacted all patients at a NYC primary care clinic for people who use drugs as well as those presenting to the hospital with OUD or a history of opioid overdose. Interested patients who completed the training received naloxone kits via mail or at hospital discharge. Results: OEND provision was converted to a remote-only model from May to June 2020. During this time, eight pre-clinical medical students called a total of 503 high-risk patients. Of these patients, 165 were reached, with 90 (55%) accepting telephone-based OEND. Comparing across populations, 51% of primary care patients versus 76% of ED/hospitalized patients accepted opioid overdose education. Eighty-four total patients received naloxone. Conclusions: We have outlined a scalable, adaptable model by which clinics and hospitals with affiliated medical schools can provide OEND by telephone. Medical student-driven, telephone-based OEND efforts can effectively reach at-risk patients and increase naloxone access.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opiate Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Students, Medical , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics , Telephone
4.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther ; 381(2): 129-136, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794541

ABSTRACT

The incidence of fatal drug overdoses in the United States is an alarming public health threat that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in over 100,000 deaths between April 2020 and April 2021. A significant portion of this is attributable to widespread access to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, alone or in combination with heroin or psychostimulants, such as cocaine or methamphetamine. Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) offer prophylactic and therapeutic interventions against opioid overdose by binding opioids in serum, reducing distribution of drug to the brain and other organs. Here, we investigated the efficacy of a leading antifentanyl mAb, clone HY6-F9, in reversal and prevention of fentanyl-induced toxicity compared with the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone (NLX) in rats. In postexposure models, rats were challenged with fentanyl, followed by HY6-F9, NLX, or both. HY6-F9 reversed fentanyl-induced antinociception, respiratory depression, and bradycardia, and rats retained protection against additional challenges for at least 1 week. Although intravenous NLX reversed fentanyl-induced respiratory depression more rapidly than mAb alone, kinetics of reversal by intravenous mAb were similar to subcutaneous NLX. Coadministration of mAb and NLX provided greater protection than individual treatments against high doses of fentanyl. Prophylactic administration of mAb reduced the ED50 of NLX approximately twofold against 2.25 mg/kg of fentanyl. Finally, mAb sequestered fentanyl and its metabolite norfentanyl in serum and reduced brain concentrations of fentanyl. These results support the translation of mAb as medical interventions alone or in combination with NLX to prevent and reverse fentanyl-related overdose. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Fentanyl-related overdoses have increased dramatically in the US and worldwide. Currently, approved pharmacotherapies for treatment of opioid use disorder and reversal of overdose are not sufficient to curb the incidence of opioid-related deaths. Additionally, fentanyl and its potent analogs present a potential risk from use in deliberate poisoning or chemical attacks. This study demonstrates the use of monoclonal antibodies as a countermeasure to fentanyl-induced toxicity in pre- and postexposure scenarios, supporting their use in combination with the opioid antagonist naloxone.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Respiratory Insufficiency , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Fentanyl , Humans , Naloxone/pharmacology , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/pharmacology , Pandemics , Rats , Respiratory Insufficiency/drug therapy
5.
Front Public Health ; 10: 811001, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776008

ABSTRACT

Background: Opioid overdose related injury or death can be prevented by bystander naloxone administration. For naloxone to be present when and where overdoses occur, opioid prevention education and naloxone distribution (OPEND) must be established on a broad level. This is the 30-month follow-up of the first multi-site naloxone project in Sweden, implemented at 31 sites in the County of Skåne 2018. Aim: To address participant characteristics and factors associated with returning for naloxone refill and with having used naloxone for overdose reversal. An additional aim was to describe self-reported reasons for naloxone refill and overdose experiences. Methods: Data were collected during June 2018-December 2020 through questionnaires at baseline and upon naloxone refill of the initial and subsequent naloxone kit. Descriptive statistics was used to address participant characteristics, those returning for naloxone refill and reporting overdose reversal. Chi-2 test was used for variable comparison between groups. Factors associated with overdose reversals were examined by logistic regression analysis. Reasons for naloxone refill, overdose situation and management were presented descriptively. Results: Among 1,079 study participants, 22% (n = 235) returned for naloxone refill, of which 60% (n = 140) reported a total of 229 overdose reversals. Reversals were more likely to be reported by participants trained at needle exchange programs (NEPs) [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 5.18, 95% Confidence interval (CI) = 3.38-7.95)], with previous experience of own (AOR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.03-2.58) or witnessed (AOR = 2.12, 95% CI = 1.05-4.29) overdose, or who had used sedatives during the last 30 days before initial training (AOR = 1.56, 95% CI = 1.04-2.33). A majority of overdoses reportedly occurred in private settings (62%), where the victim was a friend (35%) or acquaintance (31%) of the rescuer. Conclusion: Participants with own risk factors associated with overdose (e.g., injection use, concomitant use of benzodiazepines and previous experience of own overdose) were more likely to report administering naloxone for overdose reversal. Overdose management knowledge was high. The findings indicate that implementation of multi-site OPEND reaches individuals at particularly high risk of own overdose in settings with limited previous harm reduction strategies and favors a further scaling up of naloxone programs in similar settings.


Subject(s)
Naloxone , Narcotic Antagonists , Opioid-Related Disorders , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Sweden/epidemiology
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(6)2022 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765699

ABSTRACT

The street homeless, those who spend their nights either in shelters or unofficial camps, whether in tents on a street or in society's hidden spaces such as beneath an overpass, face multiple challenges beyond finding a safe place to sleep. Of further concern is how official actions can worsen these situations, through day-to-day activities or planned intervention strategies. In this paper we explore how a planned intervention may be negatively perceived-even as a form of "structural violence"-and may prevent Narcan (naloxone) use to stop an overdose related death in the Skid Row of Los Angeles. Data for this study consisted of a combination of Spatial Video Geonarratives (SVGs) and 325 incident reports from the Homeless Health Care Los Angeles Center for Harm Reduction (HHCLA-HRC) between November 2014 and December 2015. Chi-square and simple logistic regression models were used to examine the association between fear-of-arrest and other covariates of interest. Mapping results are presented with different sets of shapefiles created for (1) all Narcan uses, (2) all homeless, (3) all homeless with a worry about being arrested, (4) all Narcan uses where an ambulance attended, (5) and the same as 4 but also with police attendance. In the multivariable model, the estimated adjusted odds of fear-of-arrest is over three times higher among Narcan users ages 30-39 when compared to users under the age of 30. Analyzing the association of calling 9-1-1 on Narcan user demographics, socio-contextual characteristics, and overdose victim demographics, the crude estimated probability of calling 9-1-1 for Narcan users aged 50 and older is nearly three times higher when compared to Narcan users aged 19-29. Conclusion: Results suggest that the fear-of-arrest and calling 9-1-1 during an overdose is still a concern among Narcan users despite protective legislation and access to harm reduction resources.


Subject(s)
Drug Overdose , Naloxone , Aged , Attitude , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Harm Reduction , Humans , Law Enforcement/methods , Middle Aged , Naloxone/therapeutic use
7.
Matern Child Health J ; 26(5): 985-993, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631890

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Maternal mortality rates have been increasing in the United States for decades. For several years, opioid overdoses have been a leading cause of maternal mortality in several states. New Hampshire (NH) is a particularly severe case, with 50% of all maternal deaths being caused by drug-related overdoses from 2016 to 2017. We report on the implementation of a point-of-care naloxone distribution program for an Ob/Gyn clinic in NH. METHODS: Naloxone distribution was tracked to measure program implementation. Proportion of patients screened for naloxone need was calculated monthly. Proportion of patients with which discussions about naloxone took place was calculated quarterly. Patient and provider perspectives on the program were captured periodically. Statistical process control charts monitored change over time and evaluated for special-cause variation. RESULTS: The clinic has distributed 12 doses of naloxone since program implementation in April 2020. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, screening for naloxone need has remained at pre-pandemic rates (moving average: 73%), except for a decrease in April-May 2020. Patient-provider discussions about naloxone have also remained at pre-pandemic rates (moving average: 51%). Qualitative feedback from patients and providers has indicated that the program has been well-received by both groups. DISCUSSION: The purpose of this description is to provide a framework for other Ob/Gyn clinics to use in implementing similar naloxone distribution programs. Although too early to determine whether this intervention will result in a significant decrease in maternal mortality due to opioid overdose in our patients, this measure will continue to be tracked annually. Implementation of a naloxone program in the obstetrical context provides an important way to improve outcomes for a vulnerable perinatal population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opiate Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Humans , Maternal Mortality , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics , United States
8.
Harm Reduct J ; 19(1): 5, 2022 01 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630216

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The opioid epidemic is a rapidly growing public health concern in the USA, as the number of overdose deaths continues to increase each year. One strategy for combating the rising number of overdoses is through opioid overdose prevention programs (OOPPs). OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of an innovative OOPP, with changes in knowledge and attitudes serving as the primary outcome measures. METHODS: The OOPP was developed by a group of medical students under guidance from faculty advisors. Training sessions focused on understanding stigmatizing factors of opioid use disorder (OUD), as well as protocols for opioid overdose reversal through naloxone administration. Pre- and post-surveys were partially adapted from the opioid overdose attitudes and knowledge scales and administered to all participants. Paired t-tests were conducted to assess differences between pre- and post-surveys. RESULTS: A total of 440 individuals participated in the training; 381 completed all or the majority of the survey. Participants came from a diverse set of backgrounds, ages, and experiences. All three knowledge questions showed significant improvements. For attitude questions, significant improvements were found in all three questions evaluating confidence, two of three questions assessing attitudes towards overdose reversal, and four of five questions evaluating stigma and attitudes towards individuals with OUD. CONCLUSIONS: Our innovative OOPP was effective not only in increasing knowledge but also in improving attitudes towards overdose reversal and reducing stigma towards individuals with OUD. Given the strong improvements in attitudes towards those with OUD, efforts should be made to incorporate the unique focus on biopsychosocial and sociohistorical components into future OOPPs.


Subject(s)
Drug Overdose , Opiate Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/prevention & control
9.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 232: 109271, 2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616455

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: State- and county-level reports suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the opioid crisis. We examined US national trends of nonfatal opioid overdose in 2020 in comparison to pre-COVID years 2018-2019. METHODS: We used National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) data to conduct a temporal analysis from 2018 to 2020. Opioid-related EMS run was defined using five scenarios of naloxone administration. To determine annual patterns and slope inflection points, we used the Prophet model of the time series analysis. Linear slopes and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for pre-stay-at-home (pre-SaH) and SaH periods in 2020 and compared to the slopes during the same time in 2018-2019. Three cut-points for SaH start were considered: March 19, 24, and 29. RESULTS: We identified 91,065, 144,802, and 242,904 opioid-related EMS runs in 2018-2020, respectively. In 2020, opioid-related runs increased in January-June, with a pronounced acceleration in March, which coincides with the stay-at-home (SaH) orders. In both 2018 and 2019, opioid-related runs increased in January-August without the spring acceleration. In 2020, weekly increases (95% CI) during SaH for all examined cut-points were significantly greater than in pre-SaH: 18.09 (16.03-20.16) vs. 6.44 (3.42-9.47) for March 19, 17.77 (15.57-19.98) vs. 4.85 (2.07-7.64) for March 24, 18.03 (15.68-20.39) vs. 4.97(2.4-7.54) for March 29. No significant difference was found between these periods in 2018-2019. CONCLUSIONS: The acceleration of opioid-related EMS runs during the SaH period of 2020 suggests that EMS data may serve as an early warning system for local health jurisdictions to deploy harm reduction/prevention resources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Emergency Medical Services , Acceleration , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Humans , Information Systems , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Acad Emerg Med ; 29(4): 442-455, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592925

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emergency department (ED) patients with nonfatal opioid overdose are at high risk for subsequent fatal overdose, yet ED programs aimed at reducing harm from opioid use remain underdeveloped. OBJECTIVES: The objective was to pilot a statewide ED take-home naloxone program and improve the care of patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) and risky drug use through training and interprofessional network building. METHODS: Nine hospital EDs with pharmacy, nurse, and physician champions were recruited, surveyed, and trained. Take-home naloxone rescue kits were developed, disseminated, and tracked. Two overdose prevention summits were convened prior to the COVID pandemic, and two X-waiver training courses aimed at emergency physicians and advanced practice providers were arranged, both in person and virtual. RESULTS: A total of 872 naloxone rescue kits were distributed to ED patients at risk of opioid overdose during the first phase of this project, and more than 140 providers were trained in the use of medications for OUD in acute care settings. CONCLUSIONS: A statewide ED take-home naloxone program was shown to be feasible across a range of different hospitals with varying maturity in preexisting OUD resources and capabilities. Future work will be aimed at both expanding and measuring the effectiveness of this work.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opiate Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/prevention & control , Quality of Health Care
11.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 232: 109192, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536512

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 stay-at-home orders may reduce access to substance use treatment and naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug. The objective of this analysis was to compare monthly trends in pharmacy-based dispensing rates of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) (buprenorphine and extended-release [ER] naltrexone) and naloxone in the United States during March 2019-December 2020 by age and sex. METHODS: We calculated monthly prescription dispensing rates per 100,000 persons using IQVIA New to Brand. We used Joinpoint regression to calculate monthly percent change in dispensing rates and Wilcoxon Rank Sum tests to examine differences in median monthly rates overall, and by age and sex between March 2019-December 2019 and March 2020-December 2020. RESULTS: Buprenorphine dispensing increased among those aged 40-64 years and ≥ 65 years from March 2019 to December 2020. Median rates of total ER naltrexone dispensing were lower in March 2020-December 2020 compared to March 2019-December 2019 for the total population, and for females and males. From March 2019 to December 2020, ER naltrexone dispensing decreased and naloxone dispensing increased for those aged 20-39 years. CONCLUSIONS: Dispensing ER naltrexone declined during the study period. Given the increase in substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining equivalent access to MOUD may not be adequate to accommodate rising numbers of new patients with opioid use disorder. Access to all MOUD and naloxone could be further expanded to meet potential needs during and after the public health emergency, given their importance in preventing opioid overdose-related harms.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Pharmacy , Adult , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Naltrexone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
13.
Pharmacol Ther ; 233: 108019, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458814

ABSTRACT

Overdose deaths are often viewed as the leading edge of the opioid epidemic which has gripped the United States over the past two decades (Skolnick, 2018a). This emphasis is perhaps unsurprising because opioid overdose is both the number-one cause of death for individuals between 25 and 64 years old (Dezfulian et al., 2021) and a significant contributor to the decline in average lifespan (Dowell et al., 2017). Exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic, it was estimated there were 93,400 drug overdose deaths in the United States during the 12 months ending December 2020, with more than 69,000 (that is, >74%) of these fatalities attributed to opioid overdose (Ahmad et al., 2021). However, the focus on mortality statistics (Ahmad et al., 2021; Shover et al., 2020) tends to obscure the broader medical impact of nonfatal opioid overdose. Analyses of multiple databases indicate that for each opioid-induced fatality, there are between 6.4 and 8.4 non-fatal overdoses, exacting a significant burden on both the individual and society. Over the past 7-8 years, there has been an alarming increase in the misuse of synthetic opioids ("synthetics"), primarily fentanyl and related piperidine-based analogs. Within the past 2-3 years, a structurally unrelated class of high potency synthetics, benzimidazoles exemplified by etonitazene and isotonitazene ("iso"), have also appeared in illicit drug markets (Thompson, 2020; Ujvary et al. 2021). In 2020, it was estimated that over 80% of fatal opioid overdoses in the United States now involve synthetics (Ahmad et al., 2021). The unique physicochemical and pharmacological properties of synthetics described in this review are responsible for both the morbidity and mortality associated with their misuse as well as their widespread availability. This dramatic increase in the misuse of synthetics is often referred to as the "3rd wave" (Pardo et al., 2019; Volkow and Blanco, 2020) of the opioid epidemic. Among the consequences resulting from misuse of these potent opioids is the need for higher doses of the competitive antagonist, naloxone, to reverse an overdose. The development of more effective reversal agents such as those described in this review is an essential component of a tripartite strategy (Volkow and Collins, 2017) to reduce the biopsychosocial impact of opioid misuse in the "synthetic era".


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opiate Overdose , Adult , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Opiate Overdose/drug therapy , Opiate Overdose/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology
14.
Harm Reduct J ; 18(1): 75, 2021 07 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322939

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The incidence of opioid-related overdose deaths has been rising for 30 years and has been further exacerbated amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Naloxone can reverse opioid overdose, lower death rates, and enable a transition to medication for opioid use disorder. Though current formulations for community use of naloxone have been shown to be safe and effective public health interventions, they rely on bystander presence. We sought to understand the preferences and minimum necessary conditions for wearing a device capable of sensing and reversing opioid overdose among people who regularly use opioids. METHODS: We conducted a combined cross-sectional survey and semi-structured interview at a respite center, shelter, and syringe exchange drop-in program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, during the COVID-19 pandemic in August and September 2020. The primary aim was to explore the proportion of participants who would use a wearable device to detect and reverse overdose. Preferences regarding designs and functionalities were collected via a questionnaire with items having Likert-based response options and a semi-structured interview intended to elicit feedback on prototype designs. Independent variables included demographics, opioid use habits, and previous experience with overdose. RESULTS: A total of 97 adults with an opioid use history of at least 3 months were interviewed. A majority of survey participants (76%) reported a willingness to use a device capable of detecting an overdose and automatically administering a reversal agent upon initial survey. When reflecting on the prototype, most respondents (75.5%) reported that they would wear the device always or most of the time. Respondents indicated discreetness and comfort as important factors that increased their chance of uptake. Respondents suggested that people experiencing homelessness and those with low tolerance for opioids would be in greatest need of the device. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of people sampled with a history of opioid use in an urban setting were interested in having access to a device capable of detecting and reversing an opioid overdose. Participants emphasized privacy and comfort as the most important factors influencing their willingness to use such a device. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT04530591.


Subject(s)
Naloxone/administration & dosage , Narcotic Antagonists/administration & dosage , Opiate Overdose/diagnosis , Opiate Overdose/drug therapy , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Wearable Electronic Devices/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opiate Overdose/psychology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Philadelphia , Wearable Electronic Devices/psychology , Young Adult
15.
Prev Med ; 152(Pt 2): 106729, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320194

ABSTRACT

Rural areas of the United States have been disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic, exacerbated by COVID-19-related economic upheavals. While polysubstance use is an important determinant of overdose risk, variability in polysubstance use as a result of numerous factors (e.g., access, preference) has yet to be described, particularly among rural persons with opioid use disorder (PWOUD). Survey data on past-month use of prescription and illicit opioids and 12 non-opioid psychoactive drug classes were analyzed from a national sample of rural (n = 3872) and urban (n = 8153) residents entering treatment for OUD from 2012 to 2019. Trend analyses for opioid and stimulant use were compared between rural and urban PWOUD. Latent class analyses assessed substance use trends through identified typologies of rural/urban PWOUD, which then underwent comparative analyses. By 2019, prescription opioid use remained greater in rural versus urban PWOUD, and methamphetamine use showed greater growth in rural, compared to urban areas. Latent class analyses identified variability in polysubstance use, with five identical subgroups in rural/urban PWOD: high polysubstance, polyprescription, prescription opioid-focused, prescription opioid-focused with polysubstance use, and illicit opioid-focused. Polyprescription was highest in rural areas, with illicit opioid-focused use highest in urban areas. Demographic characteristics, co-morbid conditions and healthcare coverage were all associated with between-group differences. There is significant variability in polysubstance use that may identify specific prevention and treatment needs for subpopulations of OUD patients: interventions focused on reducing opioid prescriptions, early engagement with mental health resources, wider distribution of naloxone, and screening/treatment plans that take into account the use of multiple substances.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
16.
Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf ; 47(8): 469-480, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275440

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic within the COVID-19 pandemic, and veterans are twice as likely to die from accidental overdose compared to non-veterans. This article describes the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Rapid Naloxone Initiative, which aims to prevent opioid overdose deaths among veterans through (1) opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) to VHA patients at risk for opioid overdose, (2) VA Police naloxone, and (3) select automated external defibrillator (AED) cabinet naloxone. METHODS: VHA has taken a multifaceted, theory-based approach to ensuring the rapid availability of naloxone to prevent opioid overdose deaths. Strategies targeted at multiple levels (for example, patient, provider, health care system) have enabled synergies to speed diffusion of this lifesaving practice. RESULTS: As of April 2021, 285,279 VHA patients had received naloxone from 31,730 unique prescribers, with 1,880 reported opioid overdose reversals with naloxone; 129 VHA facilities had equipped 3,552 VA Police officers with naloxone, with 136 reported opioid overdose reversals with VA Police naloxone; and 77 VHA facilities had equipped 1,095 AED cabinets with naloxone, with 10 reported opioid overdose reversals with AED cabinet naloxone. Remarkably, the COVID-19 pandemic had minimal impact on naloxone dispensing to VHA patients. CONCLUSION: The VHA Rapid Naloxone Initiative saves lives. VHA is sharing many of the tools and resources it has developed to support uptake across other health care systems. Health care systems need to work together to combat this horrific epidemic within a pandemic and prevent a leading cause of accidental death (opioid overdose).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , United States Department of Veterans Affairs , Veterans Health
17.
Harm Reduct J ; 18(1): 47, 2021 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236557

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Naloxone distribution programs have been a cornerstone of the public health response to the overdose crisis in the USA. Yet people who use opioids (PWUO) continue to face a number of barriers accessing naloxone, including not knowing where it is available. METHODS: We used data from 173 PWUO from Anne Arundel County, Maryland, which is located between Baltimore City and Washington, DC. We assessed the prevalence of recently (past 6 months) receiving naloxone and currently having naloxone, the type(s) of the naloxone kits received, and the perceived ease/difficultly of accessing naloxone. We also assessed participants knowledge of where naloxone was available in the community. RESULTS: One third (35.7%) of participants had recently received naloxone. Most who had received naloxone received two doses (72.1%), nasal naloxone (86.9%), and education about naloxone use (72.1%). Most currently had naloxone in their possession (either on their person or at home; 78.7%). One third (34.4%) believed naloxone was difficult to obtain in their community. Only half (56.7%) knew of multiple locations where they could get naloxone. The health department was the most commonly identified naloxone source (58.0%). Identifying multiple sources of naloxone was associated with being more likely to perceive that naloxone is easy to access. DISCUSSION: Our results suggest that additional public health efforts are needed to make PWUO aware of the range of sources of naloxone in their communities in order to ensure easy and continued naloxone access to PWUO.


Subject(s)
Drug Overdose , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Prevalence , Public Health
18.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(5): e29298, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231310

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The opioid crisis in the United States may be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Increases in opioid use, emergency medical services (EMS) runs for opioid-related overdoses, and opioid overdose deaths have been reported. No study has examined changes in multiple naloxone administrations, an indicator of overdose severity, during the COVID-19 pandemic. OBJECTIVE: This study examines changes in the occurrence of naloxone administrations and multiple naloxone administrations during EMS runs for opioid-related overdoses during the COVID-19 pandemic in Guilford County, North Carolina (NC). METHODS: Using a period-over-period approach, we compared the occurrence of opioid-related EMS runs, naloxone administrations, and multiple naloxone administrations during the 29-week period before (September 1, 2019, to March 9, 2020) and after NC's COVID-19 state of emergency declaration (ie, the COVID-19 period of March 10 to September 30, 2020). Furthermore, historical data were used to generate a quasi-control distribution of period-over-period changes to compare the occurrence of each outcome during the COVID-19 period to each 29-week period back to January 1, 2014. RESULTS: All outcomes increased during the COVID-19 period. Compared to the previous 29 weeks, the COVID-19 period experienced increases in the weekly mean number of opioid-related EMS runs (25.6, SD 5.6 vs 18.6, SD 6.6; P<.001), naloxone administrations (22.3, SD 6.2 vs 14.1, SD 6.0; P<.001), and multiple naloxone administrations (5.0, SD 1.9 vs 2.7, SD 1.9; P<.001), corresponding to proportional increases of 37.4%, 57.8%, and 84.8%, respectively. Additionally, the increases during the COVID-19 period were greater than 91% of all historical 29-week periods analyzed. CONCLUSIONS: The occurrence of EMS runs for opioid-related overdoses, naloxone administrations, and multiple naloxone administrations during EMS runs increased during the COVID-19 pandemic in Guilford County, NC. For a host of reasons that need to be explored, the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have exacerbated the opioid crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/drug therapy , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Humans , North Carolina/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
19.
JAMA Psychiatry ; 78(7): 767-777, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159461

ABSTRACT

Importance: Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the US, yet many individuals with OUD do not receive treatment. Objective: To assess the cost-effectiveness of OUD treatments and association of these treatments with outcomes in the US. Design and Setting: This model-based cost-effectiveness analysis included a US population with OUD. Interventions: Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with buprenorphine, methadone, or injectable extended-release naltrexone; psychotherapy (beyond standard counseling); overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND); and contingency management (CM). Main Outcomes and Measures: Fatal and nonfatal overdoses and deaths throughout 5 years, discounted lifetime quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and costs. Results: In the base case, in the absence of treatment, 42 717 overdoses (4132 fatal, 38 585 nonfatal) and 12 660 deaths were estimated to occur in a cohort of 100 000 patients over 5 years, and 11.58 discounted lifetime QALYs were estimated to be experienced per person. An estimated reduction in overdoses was associated with MAT with methadone (10.7%), MAT with buprenorphine or naltrexone (22.0%), and when combined with CM and psychotherapy (range, 21.0%-31.4%). Estimated deceased deaths were associated with MAT with methadone (6%), MAT with buprenorphine or naltrexone (13.9%), and when combined with CM, OEND, and psychotherapy (16.9%). MAT yielded discounted gains of 1.02 to 1.07 QALYs per person. Including only health care sector costs, methadone cost $16 000/QALY gained compared with no treatment, followed by methadone with OEND ($22 000/QALY gained), then by buprenorphine with OEND and CM ($42 000/QALY gained), and then by buprenorphine with OEND, CM, and psychotherapy ($250 000/QALY gained). MAT with naltrexone was dominated by other treatment alternatives. When criminal justice costs were included, all forms of MAT (with buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone) were associated with cost savings compared with no treatment, yielding savings of $25 000 to $105 000 in lifetime costs per person. The largest cost savings were associated with methadone plus CM. Results were qualitatively unchanged over a wide range of sensitivity analyses. An analysis using demographic and cost data for Veterans Health Administration patients yielded similar findings. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cost-effectiveness analysis, expanded access to MAT, combined with OEND and CM, was associated with cost-saving reductions in morbidity and mortality from OUD. Lack of widespread MAT availability limits access to a cost-saving medical intervention that reduces morbidity and mortality from OUD. Opioid overdoses in the US likely reached a record high in 2020 because of COVID-19 increasing substance use, exacerbating stress and social isolation, and interfering with opioid treatment. It is essential to understand the cost-effectiveness of alternative forms of MAT to treat OUD.


Subject(s)
Opiate Substitution Treatment/economics , Opioid-Related Disorders/economics , Adult , Buprenorphine/economics , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Combined Modality Therapy , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Delayed-Action Preparations , Female , Humans , Male , Methadone/economics , Methadone/therapeutic use , Middle Aged , Naloxone/administration & dosage , Naloxone/economics , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Opiate Overdose/drug therapy , Opiate Overdose/economics , Opiate Overdose/prevention & control , Opioid-Related Disorders/mortality , Opioid-Related Disorders/therapy , Psychotherapy/economics , Psychotherapy/methods , Treatment Outcome
20.
Public Health Rep ; 136(3): 301-308, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119367

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has challenged the ability of harm reduction programs to provide vital services to adolescents, young adults, and people who use drugs, thereby increasing the risk of overdose, infection, withdrawal, and other complications of drug use. To evaluate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on harm reduction services for adolescents and young adults in Boston, we conducted a quantitative assessment of the Community Care in Reach (CCIR) youth pilot program to determine gaps in services created by its closure during the peak of the pandemic (March 19-June 21, 2020). We also conducted semistructured interviews with staff members at 6 harm reduction programs in Boston from April 27 through May 4, 2020, to identify gaps in harm reduction services, changes in substance use practices and patterns of engagement with people who use drugs, and how harm reduction programs adapted to pandemic conditions. During the pandemic, harm reduction programs struggled to maintain staffing, supplies, infection control measures, and regular connection with their participants. During the 3-month suspension of CCIR mobile van services, CCIR missed an estimated 363 contacts, 169 units of naloxone distributed, and 402 syringes distributed. Based on our findings, we propose the following recommendations for sustaining harm reduction services during times of crisis: pursuing high-level policy changes to eliminate political barriers to care and fund harm reduction efforts; enabling and empowering harm reduction programs to innovatively and safely distribute vital resources and build community during a crisis; and providing comprehensive support to people to minimize drug-related harms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Community Health Services/standards , Harm Reduction , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Adolescent , Boston/epidemiology , Humans , Naloxone/therapeutic use , Needle-Exchange Programs , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy , Young Adult
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