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Study Examines Opioid Involvement in U.S. Drug Overdoses

A recent analysis published in Addiction reveals how fatal overdoses involving stimulants (cocaine and other psychostimulants, primarily methamphetamine) have been increasing over the past few years.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 12:01 am EST
"Since opioids are driving increases in some stimulant overdoses, expanding opioid overdose prevention and reversal efforts through risk reduction services and access to medication-assisted treatment is critical for people who use stimulants"

Fatal overdoses involving stimulants (cocaine and other psychostimulants, primarily methamphetamine) have been increasing over the past few years. A recent analysis published in Addiction found that in 2016, 27% of overdose visits to U.S. emergency departments involving cocaine and 14% involving psychostimulants also involved an opioid. Also, in 2017, almost 75% of overdose deaths involving cocaine and half involving psychostimulants involved at least one opioid.

The study also found that since 2006, rates of overdose emergency departments visits involving cocaine and psychostimulants with an opioid increased in recent years, as did those involving psychostimulants without opioids. Overdose deaths involving cocaine and psychostimulants increased in the past several years with and without opioids.

These increases occurred across a broad range of demographic groups and geographic areas, underscoring the escalating nature of the overdose crisis in the United States.

“Since opioids are driving increases in some stimulant overdoses, expanding opioid overdose prevention and reversal efforts through risk reduction services and access to medication-assisted treatment is critical for people who use stimulants,” said lead author Brooke Hoots, PhD, MSPH, epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Increases in stimulant overdoses without opioids also draws attention to the need for new, evidence-based interventions to address the evolving drug overdose crisis.”

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.14878

About Journal 

Addiction's aims are:

  • to provide an effective outlet for high quality research in the field of addiction by selecting excellent papers for publication and improving them through the review process,
  • to stimulate debate with the field of addiction on matters relating to the science or its translation into clinical practice or policy
  • to promote high quality research in the field of addiction worldwide through its publishing and other activities.

Addiction's scope spans human experimental, epidemiological, social science, historical, clinical and policy research relating to addiction, primarily but not exclusively in the areas of psychoactive substance use and/or gambling. In addition to original research, the journal features editorials, commentaries, reviews, letters, and book reviews.

About Wiley

Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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