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Trajectories of and disparities in HIV prevalence among Black, White, and Hispanic/Latino High Risk Heterosexuals in 89 U.S. Metropolitan statistical areas, 1992-2013

Williams, Leslie D; Tempalski, Barbara; Hall, H Irene; Johnson, Anna Satcher; Wang, Guoshen; Friedman, Samuel R
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Estimates of HIV prevalence, and how it changes over time, are needed to inform action (e.g., resource allocation) to improve HIV-related public health. However, creating adequate estimates of (diagnosed and undiagnosed) HIV prevalence is challenging due to biases in samples receiving HIV testing and due to difficulties enumerating key risk populations. To our knowledge, estimates of HIV prevalence among high risk heterosexuals in the United States produced for geographic areas smaller than the entire nation have to date been only for single years and/or for single cities (or other single geographic locations). METHODS:The present study addresses these gaps by using multilevel modeling on multiple data series, in combination with previous estimates of HIV prevalence among heterosexuals from the extant literature, to produce annual estimates of HIV prevalence among high risk heterosexuals for each of 89 metropolitan statistical areas, from 1992 to 2013. It also produces estimates for these MSAs and years by racial/ethnic subgroup to allow for an examination of change over time in racial/ethnic disparities in HIV prevalence among high risk heterosexuals. RESULTS:The resulting estimates suggest that HIV prevalence among high risk heterosexuals has decreased steadily, on average, from 1992 to 2013. Examination of these estimates by racial/ ethnic subgroup suggests that this trend is primarily due to decreases among Black and Hispanic/Latino high risk heterosexuals. HIV prevalence among white high risk heterosexuals remained steady over time at around 1% during the study period. Although HIV prevalence among Black and Hispanic/Latino high risk heterosexuals was much higher (approximately 3.5% and 3.3%, respectively) than that among whites in 1992, over time these differences decreased as HIV prevalence decreased over time among these subgroups. By 2013, HIV prevalence among Hispanic/Latino high risk heterosexuals was estimated to be very similar to that among white high risk heterosexuals (approximately 1%), with prevalence among Black high risk heterosexuals still estimated to be almost twice as high. CONCLUSIONS:It is likely that as HIV incidence has decreased among heterosexuals from 1992 to 2013, mortality due to all causes has remained disparately high among racial/ethnic minorities, thereby outpacing new HIV cases. Future research should aim to empirically examine this by comparing changes over time in estimated HIV incidence among heterosexuals to changes over time in mortality and causes of death among HIV-positive heterosexuals, by racial/ethnic subgroup.
PMID: 34433105
ISSN: 1873-2585
CID: 5061092

Experiences with substance use disorder treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic: Findings from a multistate survey

Saloner, Brendan; Krawczyk, Noa; Solomon, Keisha; Allen, Sean T; Morris, Miles; Haney, Katherine; Sherman, Susan G
BACKGROUND:Drug overdoses surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, underscoring the need for expanded and accessible substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Relatively little is known about the experiences of patients receiving treatment during the pandemic. METHODS:We worked with 21 harm reduction and drug treatment programs in nine states and the District of Columbia from August 2020 to January 2021. Programs distributed study recruitment cards to clients. Clients responded to the survey by calling a study hotline and providing a unique study identification number. Our survey included detailed questions about use of SUD treatment prior to and since the COVID-19 pandemic. We identified settings where individuals received treatment and, for those treated for opioid use disorder, we examined use of medications for opioid use disorder. Individuals also reported whether they had received telehealth treatment and pandemic related treatment changes (e.g., more take-home methadone). We calculated p-values for differences pre and since COVID-19. RESULTS:We interviewed 587 individuals of whom 316 (53.8%) were in drug treatment both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals in treatment reported substantial reductions in in-person service use since the start of the pandemic, including a 27 percentage point reduction (p<.001) in group counseling sessions and 28 percentage point reduction in mutual aid group participation (p<.001). By contrast, individuals reported a 21 percentage point increase in receipt of overdose education (p<.001). Most people receiving medications for opioid use disorder reported taking methadone and had high continuity of treatment (86.1% received methadone pre-COVID and 87.1% since-COVID, p=.71). Almost all reported taking advantage of new policy changes such as counseling by video/phone, increased take-home medication, or fewer urine drug screens. Overall, respondents reported relatively high satisfaction with their treatment and with telehealth adaptations (e.g., 80.2% reported "I'm able to get all the treatment that I need"). CONCLUSIONS:Accommodations to treatment made under the federal public health emergency appear to have sustained access to treatment in the early months of the pandemic. Since these changes are set to expire after the official public health emergency declaration, further action is needed to meet the ongoing need.
PMID: 34871945
ISSN: 1873-4758
CID: 5090892

A Systematic Review of Simulation Models to Track and Address the Opioid Crisis

Cerdá, Magdalena; Jalali, Mohammad S; Hamilton, Ava D; DiGennaro, Catherine; Hyder, Ayaz; Santaella-Tenorio, Julian; Kaur, Navdep; Wang, Christina; Keyes, Katherine M
The opioid overdose crisis is driven by an intersecting set of social, structural, and economic forces. Simulation models offer a tool to help us understand and address this complex, dynamic, and nonlinear social phenomenon. We conducted a systematic review of the literature on simulation models of opioid use and overdose up to September 2019. We extracted modeling types, target populations, interventions, and findings. Further, we created a database of model parameters used for model calibration, and evaluated study transparency and reproducibility. Of the 1,398 articles screened, we identified 88 eligible articles. The most frequent types of models were compartmental (36%), Markov (20%), system dynamics (16%), and Agent-Based models (16%). Over a third evaluated intervention cost-effectiveness (40%), and another third (39%) focused on treatment and harm reduction services for people with opioid use disorder (OUD). More than half (61%) discussed calibrating their models to empirical data, and 31% discussed validation approaches used in their modeling process. From the 63 studies that provided model parameters, we extracted the data sources on opioid use, OUD, OUD treatment, cessation/relapse, emergency medical services, and mortality parameters. This database offers a tool that future modelers can use to identify potential model inputs and evaluate comparability of their models to prior work. Future applications of simulation models to this field should actively tackle key methodological challenges, including the potential for bias in the choice of parameter inputs, investment in model calibration and validation, and transparency in the assumptions and mechanics of simulation models to facilitate reproducibility.
PMID: 34791110
ISSN: 1478-6729
CID: 5049332

Early innovations in opioid use disorder treatment and harm reduction during the COVID-19 pandemic: a scoping review

Krawczyk, Noa; Fawole, Adetayo; Yang, Jenny; Tofighi, Babak
BACKGROUND:The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted a significant toll on the lives of people who use opioids (PWUOs). At the same time, more flexible regulations around provision of opioid use disorder (OUD) services have led to new opportunities for facilitating access to services for PWUOs. In the current scoping review, we describe new services and service modifications implemented by treatment and harm reduction programs serving PWUO, and discuss implications for policy and practice. METHODS:Literature searches were conducted within PubMed, LitCovid, Embase, and PsycInfo for English-language studies published in 2020 that describe a particular program, service, or intervention aimed at facilitating access to OUD treatment and/or harm reduction services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Abstracts were independently screened by two reviewers. Relevant studies were reviewed in full and those that met inclusion criteria underwent final data extraction and synthesis (n = 25). We used a narrative synthesis approach to identify major themes around key service modifications and innovations implemented across programs serving PWUO. RESULTS:Reviewed OUD treatment and harm reduction services spanned five continents and a range of settings from substance use treatment to street outreach programs. Innovative service modifications to adapt to COVID-19 circumstances primarily involved expanded use of telehealth services (e.g., telemedicine visits for buprenorphine, virtual individual or group therapy sessions, provision of donated or publicly available phones), increased take-home medication allowances for methadone and buprenorphine, expanded uptake of long-acting opioid medications (e.g. extended-release buprenorphine and naltrexone), home delivery of services (e.g. MOUD, naloxone and urine drug screening), outreach and makeshift services for delivering MOUD and naloxone, and provision of a safe supply of opioids. CONCLUSIONS:The COVID-19 pandemic has posed multiple challenges for PWUOs, while simultaneously accelerating innovations in policies, care models, and technologies to lower thresholds for life-saving treatment and harm reduction services. Such innovations highlight novel patient-centered and feasible approaches to mitigating OUD related harms. Further studies are needed to assess the long-term impact of these approaches and inform policies that improve access to care for PWUOs.
PMID: 34774106
ISSN: 1940-0640
CID: 5048792

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

Prescription opioid laws and opioid dispensing in U.S. counties: Identifying salient law provisions with machine learning

Martins, Silvia S; Bruzelius, Emilie; Stingone, Jeanette A; Wheeler-Martin, Katherine; Akbarnejad, Hanane; Mauro, Christine M; Marziali, Megan E; Samples, Hillary; Crystal, Stephen; Davis, Corey S; Rudolph, Kara E; Keyes, Katherine M; Hasin, Deborah S; Cerdá, Magdalena
BACKGROUND:Hundreds of laws aimed at reducing inappropriate prescription opioid dispensing have been implemented in the United States, yet heterogeneity in provisions and their simultaneous implementation have complicated evaluation of impacts. We apply a hypothesis-generating, multi-stage, machine learning approach to identify salient law provisions and combinations associated with dispensing rates to test in future research. METHODS:Using 162 prescription opioid law provisions capturing prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) access, reporting and administration features, pain management clinic provisions, and prescription opioid limits, we used regularization approaches and random forest models to identify laws most predictive of county-level and high-dose dispensing. We stratified analyses by overdose epidemic phases-the prescription opioid phase (2006-2009), heroin phase (2010-2012), and fentanyl phase (2013-2016)-to further explore pattern shifts over time. RESULTS:PDMP patient data access provisions most consistently predicted high dispensing and high-dose dispensing counties. Pain management clinic-related provisions did not generally predict dispensing measures in the prescription opioid phase but became more discriminant of high dispensing and high-dose dispensing counties over time, especially in the fentanyl period. Predictive performance across models was poor, suggesting prescription opioid laws alone do not strongly predict dispensing. CONCLUSIONS:Our systematic analysis of 162 law provisions identified patient data access and several pain management clinic provisions as predictive of county prescription opioid dispensing patterns. Future research employing other types of study designs is needed to test these provisions' causal relationships with inappropriate dispensing, and to examine potential interactions between PDMP access and pain management clinic provisions.
PMID: 34310445
ISSN: 1531-5487
CID: 4967492

CDC Guideline For Opioid Prescribing Associated With Reduced Dispensing To Certain Patients With Chronic Pain

Townsend, Tarlise; Cerdá, Magdalena; Bohnert, Amy; Lagisetty, Pooja; Haffajee, Rebecca L
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain aimed to reduce unsafe opioid prescribing. It is unknown whether the guideline influenced prescribing in the target population: patients with chronic, noncancer pain, who may be at particular risk for opioid-related harms. To study this question, we used 2014-18 data from a commercial claims database to examine associations between the release of the guideline and opioid dispensing in a national cohort of more than 450,000 patients with four common chronic pain diagnoses. We also examined whether any reductions associated with the guideline were larger for diagnoses for which there existed stronger expert consensus against opioid prescribing. Overall, the guideline was associated with substantial reductions in dispensing opioids, including a reduction in patients' rate of receiving at least one opioid prescription by approximately 20 percentage points by December 2018 compared with the counterfactual, no-guideline scenario. However, the reductions in dispensing did not vary by the strength of expert consensus against opioid prescribing. These findings suggest that although voluntary guidelines can drive changes in prescribing, questions remain about how clinicians are tailoring opioid reductions to best benefit patients.
PMID: 34747653
ISSN: 1544-5208
CID: 5050222

Association of medical cannabis licensure with prescription opioid receipt: A population-based, individual-level retrospective cohort study

Goedel, William C; Macmadu, Alexandria; Shihipar, Abdullah; Moyo, Patience; Cerdá, Magdalena; Marshall, Brandon D L
BACKGROUND:The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in physiological processes fundamental to pain, giving plausibility to the hypothesis that cannabis may be used as a substitute or complement to prescription opioids in the management of chronic pain. We examined the association of medical cannabis licensure with likelihood of prescription opioid receipt using administrative records. METHODS:This study linked registry information for medical cannabis licensure with records from the prescription drug monitoring program from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2019 to create a population-based, retrospective cohort in Rhode Island. We examined within-person changes in receipt of any opioid prescription and receipt of an opioid prescription with a morphine equivalent dose of 50 mg or more, and of 90 mg or more. RESULTS:The sample included 5,296 participants with medical cannabis license. Medical cannabis licensure was not associated with the odds of filling any opioid prescription (OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.94-0.1.05) or the odds of filling a prescription with a morphine equivalent dose of 50 mg or more (OR: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.84-1.04) and 90 mg or more (OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.86-1.15). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Medical cannabis licensure was not associated with subsequent cessation and reduction in prescription opioid use. Re-scheduling of cannabis will allow for the conduct of randomized controlled trials to determine the efficacy of medical cannabis as an alternative to prescription opioid use or a complement to the use of lower doses of prescription opioids in patients with chronic pain.
PMID: 34695720
ISSN: 1873-4758
CID: 5090862

Trends in the sequence of initiation of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use among adolescents in Argentina and Chile from 2001 to 2017

Schleimer, Julia P; Smith, Nathan; Zaninovic, ViniNatalie; Keyes, Katherine M; Castillo-Carniglia, Alvaro; Rivera-Aguirre, Ariadne; Cerdá, Magdalena
BACKGROUND:Variation in drug policies, norms, and substance use over time and across countries may affect the normative sequences of adolescent substance use initiation. We estimated relative and absolute time-varying associations between prior alcohol and tobacco use and adolescent marijuana initiation in Argentina and Chile. Relative measures quantify the magnitude of the associations, whereas absolute measures quantify excess risk. METHODS:We analyzed repeated, cross-sectional survey data from the National Surveys on Drug Use Among Secondary School Students in Argentina (2001-2014) and Chile (2001-2017). Participants included 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students (N = 680,156). Linear regression models described trends over time in the average age of first use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Logistic regression models were used to estimate time-varying risk ratios and risk differences of the associations between prior alcohol and tobacco use and current-year marijuana initiation. RESULTS:Average age of marijuana initiation increased and then decreased in Argentina and declined in Chile. In both countries, the relative associations between prior tobacco use and marijuana initiation weakened amid declining rates of tobacco use; e.g., in Argentina, the risk ratio was 19.9 (95% CI: 9.0-30.8) in 2001 and 11.6 (95% CI: 9.0-13.2) in 2014. The relative association between prior alcohol use and marijuana initiation weakened Chile, but not in Argentina. On the contrary, risk differences (RD) increased substantially across both relationships and countries, e.g., in Argentina, the RD for tobacco was 3% (95% CI: 0.02-0.03) in 2001 and 12% (95% CI: 0.11-0.13) in 2014. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Diverging trends in risk ratios and risk differences highlight the utility of examining multiple measures of association. Variation in the strength of the associations over time and place suggests the influence of environmental factors. Increasing risk differences indicate alcohol and tobacco use may be important targets for interventions to reduce adolescent marijuana use.
PMID: 34666217
ISSN: 1873-4758
CID: 5043262

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.
PMID: 34626265
ISSN: 1573-3254
CID: 5067872