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Cycles of Chronic Opioid Therapy Following Mandatory Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Legislation: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Allen, Bennett; Jent, Victoria A; Cerdá, Magdalena
BACKGROUND:Mandates for prescriber use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), databases tracking controlled substance prescriptions, are associated with reduced opioid analgesic (OA) prescribing but may contribute to care discontinuity and chronic opioid therapy (COT) cycling, or multiple initiations and terminations. OBJECTIVE:To estimate risks of COT cycling in New York City (NYC) due to the New York State (NYS) PDMP mandate, compared to risks in neighboring New Jersey (NJ) counties. DESIGN/METHODS:We estimated cycling risk using Prentice, Williams, and Peterson gap-time models adjusted for age, sex, OA dose, payment type, and county population density, using a life-table difference-in-differences design. Failure time was duration between cycles. In a subgroup analysis, we estimated risk among patients receiving high-dose prescriptions. Sensitivity analyses tested robustness to cycle volume considering only first cycles using Cox proportional hazard models. PARTICIPANTS/METHODS:The cohort included 7604 patients dispensed 12,695 prescriptions. INTERVENTIONS/METHODS:The exposure was the August 2013 enactment of the NYS PDMP prescriber use mandate. MAIN MEASURES/METHODS:We used monthly, patient-level data on OA prescriptions dispensed in NYC and NJ between August 2011 and July 2015. We defined COT as three sequential months of prescriptions, permitting 1-month gaps. We defined recurrence as re-initiation of COT after at least 2 months without prescriptions. The exposure was enactment of the PDMP mandate in NYC; NJ was unexposed. KEY RESULTS/RESULTS:Enactment of the NYS PDMP mandate was associated with an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for cycling of 1.01 (95% CI, 0.94-1.08) in NYC. For high-dose prescriptions, the risk was 1.16 (95% CI, 1.01-1.34). Sensitivity analyses estimated an overall risk of 1.01 (95% CI, 0.94-1.11) and high-dose risk of 1.09 (95% CI, 0.91-1.31). CONCLUSIONS:The PDMP mandate had no overall effect on COT cycling in NYC but increased cycling risk among patients receiving high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16%, highlighting care discontinuity.
PMID: 35411535
ISSN: 1525-1497
CID: 5205122

Dynamics of drug overdose in the 20th and 21st centuries: The exponential curve was not inevitable, and continued increases are preventable

Keyes, Katherine M; Cerdá, Magdalena
PMID: 35410845
ISSN: 1873-4758
CID: 5204312

Preventing Overdose Using Information and Data from the Environment (PROVIDENT): protocol for a randomized, population-based, community intervention trial

Marshall, Brandon D L; Alexander-Scott, Nicole; Yedinak, Jesse L; Hallowell, Benjamin D; Goedel, William C; Allen, Bennett; Schell, Robert C; Li, Yu; Krieger, Maxwell S; Pratty, Claire; Ahern, Jennifer; Neill, Daniel B; Cerdá, Magdalena
BACKGROUND AND AIMS/OBJECTIVE:In light of the accelerating drug overdose epidemic in North America, new strategies are needed to identify communities most at risk to prioritize geographically the existing public health resources (e.g. street outreach, naloxone distribution efforts). We aimed to develop PROVIDENT (Preventing Overdose using Information and Data from the Environment), a machine learning-based forecasting tool to predict future overdose deaths at the census block group (i.e. neighbourhood) level. DESIGN/METHODS:Randomized, population-based, community intervention trial. SETTING/METHODS:Rhode Island, USA. PARTICIPANTS/METHODS:All people who reside in Rhode Island during the study period may contribute data to either the model or the trial outcomes. INTERVENTION/METHODS:Each of the state's 39 municipalities will be randomized to the intervention (PROVIDENT) or comparator condition. An interactive, web-based tool will be developed to visualize the PROVIDENT model predictions. Municipalities assigned to the treatment arm will receive neighbourhood risk predictions from the PROVIDENT model, and state agencies and community-based organizations will direct resources to neighbourhoods identified as high risk. Municipalities assigned to the control arm will continue to receive surveillance information and overdose prevention resources, but they will not receive neighbourhood risk predictions. MEASUREMENTS/METHODS:The primary outcome is the municipal-level rate of fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses. Fatal overdoses will be defined as unintentional drug-related death; non-fatal overdoses will be defined as an emergency department visit for a suspected overdose reported through the state's syndromic surveillance system. Intervention efficacy will be assessed using Poisson or negative binomial regression to estimate incidence rate ratios comparing fatal and non-fatal overdose rates in treatment vs. control municipalities. COMMENTS/CONCLUSIONS:The findings will inform the utility of predictive modelling as a tool to improve public health decision-making and inform resource allocation to communities that should be prioritized for prevention, treatment, recovery and overdose rescue services.
PMID: 34729851
ISSN: 1360-0443
CID: 5090872

Experiences of Online Bullying and Offline Violence-Related Behaviors Among a Nationally Representative Sample of US Adolescents, 2011 to 2019

Kreski, Noah T; Chen, Qixuan; Olfson, Mark; Cerdá, Magdalena; Martins, Silvia S; Mauro, Pia M; Branas, Charles C; Rajan, Sonali; Keyes, Katherine M
BACKGROUND:Being bullied online is associated with being bullied in school. However, links between online bullying and violence-related experiences are minimally understood. We evaluated potential disparities in these associations to illuminate opportunities to reduce school-based violence. METHODS: = 73 074). We used survey-weighted logistic and multinomial models to examine links between online bullying and five school-based violence-related experiences: offline bullying, weapon carrying, avoiding school due to feeling unsafe, being threatened/injured with a weapon, and physical fighting. We examined interactions by sex, race/ethnicity, and sexual identity. RESULTS:Being bullied online was positively associated with all offline violence-related behaviors. Groups with stronger associations between online bullying and physical fighting, including boys, adolescents whose sexual identity was gay/lesbian or unsure, and many adolescents of color (Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander adolescents), had stronger associations between online bullying and either weapon carrying or avoiding school. CONCLUSIONS:Online bullying is not an isolated harmful experience; many marginalized adolescents who experience online bullying are more likely to be targeted in school, feel unsafe, get in fights, and carry weapons. Reduction of online bullying should be prioritized as part of a comprehensive school-based violence prevention strategy.
PMID: 35080013
ISSN: 1746-1561
CID: 5157292

PrEP Care Continuum Engagement Among Persons Who Inject Drugs: Rural and Urban Differences in Stigma and Social Infrastructure

Walters, Suzan M; Frank, David; Van Ham, Brent; Jaiswal, Jessica; Muncan, Brandon; Earnshaw, Valerie; Schneider, John; Friedman, Samuel R; Ompad, Danielle C
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medication that prevents HIV acquisition, yet PrEP uptake has been low among people who inject drugs. Stigma has been identified as a fundamental driver of population health and may be a significant barrier to PrEP care engagement among PWID. However, there has been limited research on how stigma operates in rural and urban settings in relation to PrEP. Using in-depth semi-structured qualitative interviews (n = 57) we explore PrEP continuum engagement among people actively injecting drugs in rural and urban settings. Urban participants had more awareness and knowledge. Willingness to use PrEP was similar in both settings. However, no participant was currently using PrEP. Stigmas against drug use, HIV, and sexualities were identified as barriers to PrEP uptake, particularly in the rural setting. Syringe service programs in the urban setting were highlighted as a welcoming space where PWID could socialize and therefore mitigate stigma and foster information sharing.
PMCID:8501360
PMID: 34626265
ISSN: 1573-3254
CID: 5067872

Buprenorphine Telehealth Treatment Initiation and Follow-Up During COVID-19 [Letter]

Samuels, Elizabeth A; Khatri, Utsha G; Snyder, Hannah; Wightman, Rachel S; Tofighi, Babak; Krawczyk, Noa
PMCID:8722662
PMID: 34981357
ISSN: 1525-1497
CID: 5106962

Opioid treatment program safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic: a statewide survey

Bandara, Sachini; Maniates, Hannah; Hulsey, Eric; Smith, Jennifer S; DiDomenico, Ellen; Stuart, Elizabeth A; Saloner, Brendan; Krawczyk, Noa
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/CONCLUSIONS: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.
PMCID:8965537
PMID: 35354460
ISSN: 1472-6963
CID: 5201182

Racial/Ethnic and Geographic Trends in Combined Stimulant/Opioid Overdoses, 2007-2019

Townsend, Tarlise; Kline, David; Rivera-Aguirre, Ariadne; Bunting, Amanda M; Mauro, Pia M; Marshall, Brandon D L; Martins, Silvia S; Cerdá, Magdalena
In the United States, combined stimulant/opioid overdose mortality has risen dramatically over the last decade. These increases may particularly affect non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic populations. We used death certificate data from the US National Center for Health Statistics (2007-2019) to compare state-level trends in overdose mortality due to opioids in combination with 1) cocaine and 2) methamphetamine and other stimulants (MOS) across racial/ethnic groups (non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic Asian American/Pacific Islander). To avoid unstable estimates from small samples, we employed principles of small area estimation and a Bayesian hierarchical model, enabling information-sharing across groups. Black Americans experienced severe and worsening mortality due to opioids in combination with both cocaine and MOS, particularly in eastern states. Cocaine/opioid mortality increased 575% among Black people versus 184% in White people (Black, 0.60 to 4.05 per 100,000; White, 0.49 to 1.39 per 100,000). MOS/opioid mortality rose 16,200% in Black people versus 3,200% in White people (Black, 0.01 to 1.63 per 100,000; White, 0.09 to 2.97 per 100,000). Cocaine/opioid overdose mortality rose sharply among Hispanic and Asian Americans. State-group heterogeneity highlighted the importance of data disaggregation and methods to address small sample sizes. Research to understand the drivers of these trends and expanded efforts to address them are needed, particularly in minoritized groups.
PMID: 35142341
ISSN: 1476-6256
CID: 5191512

Informal coping strategies among people who use opioids during COVID-19: A thematic analysis of Reddit forums

Arshonsky, Josh; Krawczyk, Noa; Bunting, Amanda M; Frank, David; Friedman, Samuel R; Bragg, Marie A
BACKGROUND:The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how people seeking to reduce opioid use access treatment services and navigate efforts to abstain from using opioids. Social distancing policies have drastically reduced access to many forms of social support, but they may have also upended some perceived barriers to reducing or abstaining from opioid use. OBJECTIVE:This qualitative study aimed to identify informal coping strategies for reducing and abstaining from opioid use among Reddit users who have posted in opioid-related subreddits at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS:We extracted data from two major opioid-related subreddits. Thematic data analysis was used to evaluate subreddit posts dated from March 5, 2020 to May 13, 2020 that referenced COVID-19 and opioid use, resulting in a final sample of 300 posts that were coded and analyzed. RESULTS:Of the 300 subreddit posts, 100 discussed at least one type of informal coping strategy. Those strategies included: psychological and behavioral coping skills, adopting healthy habits, and using substances to manage withdrawal symptoms. Twelve subreddit posts explicitly mentioned using social distancing as an opportunity for cessation or reduction of opioid use. CONCLUSIONS:Reddit discussion forums provided a community for people to share strategies for reducing opioid use and support others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Future research needs to assess the impact of COVID-19 on opioid use behaviors, especially during periods of limited treatment access and isolation, as these can inform future efforts in curbing the opioid epidemic and other substance related harms.
PMID: 35084345
ISSN: 2561-326x
CID: 5154652

Forecasted and Observed Drug Overdose Deaths in the US During the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020

Cartus, Abigail R; Li, Yu; Macmadu, Alexandria; Goedel, William C; Allen, Bennett; Cerdá, Magdalena; Marshall, Brandon D L
PMCID:8938716
PMID: 35311967
ISSN: 2574-3805
CID: 5205112