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      Use of Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Among US Adolescents and Adults With Need for Opioid Treatment, 2019

      research-article
      , PhD 1 , , , MSPH 1 , , MPH 1 , , PhD, MHS 2 , 3
      JAMA Network Open
      American Medical Association

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          Abstract

          This cross-sectional study of respondents to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health evaluates rates of medication for opioid use disorder receipt among people with need for treatment as well as associated sociodemographic characteristics.

          Key Points

          Question

          What are the individual characteristics associated with medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) receipt among people with opioid use disorder treatment need?

          Findings

          In this cross-sectional study with a weighted sample of 2 206 169 people with treatment need, approximately 1 in 4 (27.8%) reported past-year MOUD use, including no adolescents and only 13.2% of adults 50 years and older. Use of MOUD was low despite high prevalence of past-year health care or criminal legal system contacts.

          Meaning

          Given that MOUD use was low, these results suggest that cross-system integrated interventions to increase MOUD uptake are needed, especially for younger age groups and older adults.

          Abstract

          Importance

          Medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) is the criterion standard treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), but nationally representative studies of MOUD use in the US are lacking.

          Objective

          To estimate MOUD use rates and identify associations between MOUD and individual characteristics among people who may have needed treatment for OUD.

          Design, Setting, and Participants

          Cross-sectional, nationally representative study using the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health in the US. Participants included community-based, noninstitutionalized adolescent and adult respondents identified as individuals who may benefit from MOUD, defined as (1) meeting criteria for a past-year OUD, (2) reporting past-year MOUD use, or (3) receiving past-year specialty treatment for opioid use in the last or current treatment episode.

          Main Outcomes and Measures

          The main outcomes were treatment with MOUD compared with non-MOUD services and no treatment. Associations with sociodemographic characteristics (eg, age, race and ethnicity, sex, income, and urbanicity); substance use disorders; and past-year health care or criminal legal system contacts were analyzed. Multinomial logistic regression was used to compare characteristics of people receiving MOUD with those receiving non-MOUD services or no treatment. Models accounted for predisposing, enabling, and need characteristics.

          Results

          In the weighted sample of 2 206 169 people who may have needed OUD treatment (55.5% male; 8.0% Hispanic; 9.9% non-Hispanic Black; 74.6% non-Hispanic White; and 7.5% categorized as non-Hispanic other, with other including 2.7% Asian, 0.9% Native American or Alaska Native, 0.2% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 3.8% multiracial), 55.1% were aged 35 years or older, 53.7% were publicly insured, 52.2% lived in a large metropolitan area, 56.8% had past-year prescription OUD, and 80.0% had 1 or more co-occurring substance use disorders (percentages are weighted). Only 27.8% of people needing OUD treatment received MOUD in the past year. Notably, no adolescents (aged 12-17 years) and only 13.2% of adults 50 years and older reported past-year MOUD use. Among adults, the likelihood of past-year MOUD receipt vs no treatment was lower for people aged 50 years and older vs 18 to 25 years (adjusted relative risk ratio [aRRR], 0.14; 95% CI, 0.05-0.41) or with middle or higher income (eg, $50 000-$74 999 vs $0-$19 999; aRRR, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.07-0.44). Compared with receiving non-MOUD services, receipt of MOUD was more likely among adults with at least some college (vs high school or less; aRRR, 2.94; 95% CI, 1.33-6.51) and less likely in small metropolitan areas (vs large metropolitan areas, aRRR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.19-0.93). While contacts with the health care system (85.0%) and criminal legal system (60.5%) were common, most people encountering these systems did not report receiving MOUD (29.5% and 39.1%, respectively).

          Conclusions and Relevance

          In this cross-sectional study, MOUD uptake was low among people who could have benefited from treatment, especially adolescents and older adults. The high prevalence of health care and criminal legal system contacts suggests that there are critical gaps in care delivery or linkage and that cross-system integrated interventions are warranted.

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          Revisiting the Behavioral Model and Access to Medical Care: Does it Matter?

          The Behavioral Model of Health Services Use was initially developed over 25 years ago. In the interim it has been subject to considerable application, reprobation, and alteration. I review its development and assess its continued relevance.
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            The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement: guidelines for reporting observational studies.

            Much biomedical research is observational. The reporting of such research is often inadequate, which hampers the assessment of its strengths and weaknesses and of a study's generalizability. The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) Initiative developed recommendations on what should be included in an accurate and complete report of an observational study. We defined the scope of the recommendations to cover three main study designs: cohort, case-control and cross-sectional studies. We convened a 2-day workshop in September 2004, with methodologists, researchers, and journal editors to draft a checklist of items. This list was subsequently revised during several meetings of the coordinating group and in e-mail discussions with the larger group of STROBE contributors, taking into account empirical evidence and methodological considerations. The workshop and the subsequent iterative process of consultation and revision resulted in a checklist of 22 items (the STROBE Statement) that relate to the title, abstract, introduction, methods, results, and discussion sections of articles. 18 items are common to all three study designs and four are specific for cohort, case-control, or cross-sectional studies. A detailed "Explanation and Elaboration" document is published separately and is freely available on the web sites of PLoS Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Epidemiology. We hope that the STROBE Statement will contribute to improving the quality of reporting of observational studies.
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              Trends and Geographic Patterns in Drug and Synthetic Opioid Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2019

              Deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (synthetic opioids), which largely consist of illicitly manufactured fentanyl; psychostimulants with abuse potential (e.g., methamphetamine); and cocaine have increased in recent years, particularly since 2013 ( 1 , 2 ). In 2019, a total of 70,630 drug overdose deaths occurred, corresponding to an age-adjusted rate of 21.6 per 100,000 population and a 4.3% increase from the 2018 rate (20.7) ( 3 ). CDC analyzed trends in age-adjusted overdose death rates involving synthetic opioids, psychostimulants, cocaine, heroin, and prescription opioids during 2013–2019, as well as geographic patterns in synthetic opioid- and psychostimulant-involved deaths during 2018–2019. From 2013 to 2019, the synthetic opioid-involved death rate increased 1,040%, from 1.0 to 11.4 per 100,000 age-adjusted (3,105 to 36,359). The psychostimulant-involved death rate increased 317%, from 1.2 (3,627) in 2013 to 5.0 (16,167) in 2019. In the presence of synthetic opioid coinvolvement, death rates for prescription opioids, heroin, psychostimulants, and cocaine increased. In the absence of synthetic opioid coinvolvement, death rates increased only for psychostimulants and cocaine. From 2018 to 2019, the largest relative increase in the synthetic opioid-involved death rate occurred in the West (67.9%), and the largest relative increase in the psychostimulant-involved death rate occurred in the Northeast (43.8%); these increases represent important changes in the geographic distribution of drug overdose deaths. Evidence-based prevention and response strategies including substance use disorder treatment and overdose prevention and response efforts focused on polysubstance use must be adapted to address the evolving drug overdose epidemic. Drug overdose deaths were identified in the National Vital Statistics System multiple cause-of-death mortality files* by using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) underlying cause-of-death codes X40–44 (unintentional), X60–64 (suicide), X85 (homicide), or Y10–14 (undetermined intent). Drug categories were defined using the following ICD-10 multiple cause-of-death codes: synthetic opioids other than methadone (T40.4), psychostimulants with abuse potential (T43.6), cocaine (T40.5), prescription opioids (T40.2 or T40.3), and heroin (T40.1). Deaths involving more than one type of drug were included in the rates for each applicable drug category; categories are not mutually exclusive. † Annual age-adjusted death rates § were examined during 2013–2019 and stratified by drug category and synthetic opioid coinvolvement. The percentage of 2019 drug overdose deaths and change in 2018–2019 age-adjusted death rates involving synthetic opioids and psychostimulants were examined by U.S Census region ¶ and state. States with inadequate drug specificity, too few deaths to calculate stable estimates, or too few deaths to meet confidentiality requirements were excluded from state-level analyses.** ,†† Analyses of rate changes used z-tests when deaths were ≥100 and nonoverlapping confidence intervals based on a gamma distribution when deaths were 80% of drug overdose death certificates named at least one specific drug in 2019 and ≥10 deaths occurred in 2019 in the specific drug category. † Rate per 100,000 population age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population using the vintage year population of the data year. § Z-tests were used if the number of deaths was ≥100 in both 2018 and 2019, and p 80% of drug overdose death certificates named at least one specific drug in 2018 and 2019 and ≥20 deaths occurred during 2018 and 2019 in the drug category examined. †† Deaths were classified using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision. Drug overdoses are identified using underlying cause-of-death codes X40–X44 (unintentional), X60–X64 (suicide), X85 (homicide), and Y10–Y14 (undetermined). §§ Drug overdose deaths, as defined, that involve synthetic opioids other than methadone (T40.4). ¶¶ Drug overdose deaths, as defined, that involve psychostimulants with abuse potential (T43.6). *** Because deaths might involve more than one drug, some deaths are included in more than one category. In 2019, 6.3% of drug overdose deaths did not include information on the specific type of drug(s) involved. The figure is a series of maps showing percent and relative change in age-adjusted rates of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone and psychostimulants with abuse potential in the United States during 2013–2019. From 2018 to 2019, the age-adjusted synthetic opioid-involved death rate increased 15.2%, from 9.9 to 11.4. In 2019, the Northeast had the highest percentage and rate of deaths involving synthetic opioids, but the smallest relative (5.2%) and absolute (1.0) rate increases from the previous year (19.1 in 2018 to 20.1 in 2019). In contrast, the West experienced the largest relative (67.9%) and absolute (1.9) rate increases from 2.8 in 2018 to 4.7 in 2019. From 2018 to 2019, a total of 20 states experienced relative increases in their synthetic opioid-involved death rate, with the highest rate in 2019 in Delaware (38.4). The largest relative rate increase occurred in Colorado (95.5%), and the largest absolute rate increase occurred in the District of Columbia (7.6). No state experienced a significant decrease. The percentage of deaths involving psychostimulants was highest in the West (43.5%) and lowest in the Northeast (7.9%) in 2019. The same geographic pattern was observed with psychostimulant-involved deaths that did not coinvolve synthetic opioids. In all northeastern states, fewer than 20% of drug overdose deaths involved psychostimulants. In 12 states, mostly in the West and Midwest, ≥40% of overdose deaths involved psychostimulants. Among these, the percentage was highest in Hawaii (70.2%) and Oklahoma (50.7%). The percentage was lowest in Maryland (3.3%). From 2018 to 2019, the age-adjusted rate of psychostimulant-involved deaths increased 28.2%, from 3.9 to 5.0. The Northeast experienced the largest relative (43.8%), but smallest absolute (0.7), rate increase. The Midwest (36.1%) and South (32.4%) experienced similar relative but slightly larger absolute (1.3 and 1.2, respectively) rate increases. Although the percentage of 2019 drug overdose deaths involving psychostimulants was highest in the West, the relative rate increase (17.5%) was lowest there. Twenty-four states experienced an increase in the rate of psychostimulant-involved deaths. Kansas experienced the largest relative increase (107.1%) and third largest absolute rate increase (3.0). West Virginia had the highest 2019 rate (24.4) and the largest absolute rate increase (5.1); New York had the lowest 2019 rate (1.3). No state had a significant decrease (Supplementary Table, https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/101757). Discussion In 2019, a total of 70,630 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States; approximately one half involved synthetic opioids. From 2013 to 2019, the age-adjusted synthetic opioid death rate increased sharply by 1,040%, from 1.0 to 11.4. Death rates involving prescription opioids and heroin increased in the presence of synthetic opioids (from 0.3 to 1.8 and from 0.1 to 2.7, respectively), but not in their absence. Death rates involving psychostimulants increased 317% overall, regardless of synthetic opioid coinvolvement. Synthetic opioid- and psychostimulant-involved deaths shifted geographically from 2018 to 2019. From 2015 to 2016, states in the East had the largest increases in deaths involving synthetic opioids, and from 2016 to 2017, the Midwest had the largest increases in deaths involving psychostimulants ( 2 , 4 ). In contrast, from 2018 to 2019, the largest relative increase in death rates involving synthetic opioids occurred in the West (67.9%); the largest relative increase in death rate involving psychostimulants occurred in the Northeast (43.8%). Sharp increases in synthetic opioid- and psychostimulant-involved overdose deaths in 2019 are consistent with recent trends indicating a worsening and expanding drug overdose epidemic ( 1 , 2 , 4 – 6 ). Synthetic opioids, particularly illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, are highly potent, increasingly available across the United States, and found in the supplies of other drugs ( 7 , 8 ). Co-use of synthetic opioids with other drugs can be deliberate or inadvertent (i.e., products might be adulterated with illicitly manufactured fentanyl or fentanyl analogs unbeknownst to the user). Similarly, psychostimulant-involved deaths are likely rising because of increases in potency, availability, and reduced cost of methamphetamine in recent years ( 9 ). The increase in synthetic-opioid involved deaths in the West and in psychostimulant-involved deaths in the Northeast signal broadened geographic use of these substances, consistent with increases in the number of drug submissions to forensic laboratories in those regions during 2018–2019 ( 8 ). The findings in this report are subject to at least two limitations. First, forensic toxicology testing protocols varied by time and jurisdiction, particularly for synthetic opioids. Therefore, some of the increases in overdose deaths reported by drug categories could be attributed to the increases in testing as well as the use of more comprehensive tests. Second, geographic analyses excluded states with inadequate drug specificity or too few deaths to calculate stable rates. The worsening and expanding drug overdose epidemic in the United States now involves potent synthetic drugs, often in combination with other substances, and requires urgent action. As involved substances and geographic trends in drug overdose deaths change, timely surveillance and evidence-based prevention and response strategies remain essential. CDC’s Overdose Data to Action ¶¶ cooperative agreement funds health departments in 47 states, the District of Columbia, two territories, and 16 cities and counties to obtain high-quality, comprehensive, and timely data on fatal and nonfatal drug overdoses to inform prevention and response efforts. To help curb this epidemic, Overdose Data to Action strategies focus on enhancing linkage to and retention in substance use disorder treatment, improving prescription drug monitoring programs, implementing postoverdose protocols in emergency departments, including naloxone provision to patients who use opioids or other illicit drugs, and strengthening public health and public safety partnerships, enabling data sharing to help inform comprehensive interventions.*** Other approaches ††† should include expanded naloxone distribution and education that potent opioids might require multiple doses of naloxone, improved access to substance use disorder treatment (including medications for opioid use disorder or programs addressing polysubstance use), expanded harm reduction services, and continued partnerships with public safety to monitor trends in the illicit drug supply, including educating the public that drug products might be adulterated with fentanyl or fentanyl analogs unbeknownst to users. A comprehensive and coordinated approach from clinicians, public health, public safety, community organizations, and the public must incorporate innovative and established prevention and response strategies, including those focused on polysubstance use. Summary What is already known about this topic? Deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, cocaine, and psychostimulants have increased in recent years. What is added by this report? From 2013 to 2019, the age-adjusted rate of deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone increased 1,040%, and for psychostimulants increased 317%. During 2018–2019, the largest relative increase in synthetic opioid-involved death rates occurred in the West (67.9%), and the largest relative increase in psychostimulant-involved death rates occurred in the Northeast (43.8%). What are the implications for public health practice? Evidence-based prevention and response strategies, including substance use disorder treatment and overdose prevention and response efforts focused on polysubstance use, must be adapted to address the changing drug overdose epidemic.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JAMA Netw Open
                JAMA Netw Open
                JAMA Network Open
                American Medical Association
                2574-3805
                23 March 2022
                March 2022
                23 March 2022
                : 5
                : 3
                : e223821
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, New York
                [2 ]Center for Health Sciences Research, Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, New Brunswick, New Jersey
                [3 ]Department of Health Behavior, Society and Policy, Rutgers School of Public Health, Piscataway, New Jersey
                Author notes
                Article Information
                Accepted for Publication: February 3, 2022.
                Published: March 23, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.3821
                Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2022 Mauro PM et al. JAMA Network Open.
                Corresponding Author: Pia M. Mauro, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 722 W 168th St, R507, New York, NY 10032 ( pm2838@ 123456cumc.columbia.edu ).
                Author Contributions: Dr Mauro and Ms Gutkind had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
                Concept and design: Mauro, Samples.
                Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.
                Drafting of the manuscript: Mauro, Gutkind, Samples.
                Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
                Statistical analysis: Mauro, Gutkind, Samples.
                Administrative, technical, or material support: Annunziato.
                Supervision: Mauro, Samples.
                Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Samples reported receiving personal fees for consulting from the American Society of Addiction Medicine outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.
                Funding/Support: This work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse grant numbers K01DA045224 (Principal Investigator: Dr Mauro), K01DA049950 (Principal Investigator: Dr Samples), and T32DA031099.
                Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funding sources had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
                Meeting Presentation: Preliminary findings were presented at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence 2021 annual conference; June 22, 2021 (virtual).
                Article
                zoi220135
                10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.3821
                8943638
                35319762
                d912825f-56e7-4b01-bb96-8480195515c8
                Copyright 2022 Mauro PM et al. JAMA Network Open.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License.

                History
                : 1 November 2021
                : 3 February 2022
                Categories
                Research
                Original Investigation
                Online Only
                Substance Use and Addiction

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