Unintentional Prescription Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths: Description of Decedents by Next of Kin or Best Contact, Utah, 2008-2009.

Utah Department of Health, Prescription Pain Medication Program, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
Journal of General Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.42). 10/2012; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-012-2225-z
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Little is known about the characteristics that may predispose an individual to being at risk for fatal overdose from prescription opioids. OBJECTIVE: To identify characteristics related to unintentional prescription opioid overdose deaths in Utah. DESIGN: Interviews were conducted (October 2008-October 2009) with a relative or friend most knowledgeable about the decedent's life. SUBJECTS: Analyses involved 254 decedents aged 18 or older, where cause of death included overdose on at least one prescription opioid. KEY RESULTS: Decedents were more likely to be middle-aged, Caucasian, non-Hispanic/Latino, less educated, not married, or reside in rural areas than the general adult population in Utah. In the year prior to death, 87.4 % were prescribed prescription pain medication. Reported potential misuse prescription pain medication in the year prior to their death was high (e.g., taken more often than prescribed [52.9 %], obtained from more than one doctor during the previous year [31.6 %], and used for reasons other than treating pain [29.8 %, almost half of which "to get high"]). Compared with the general population, decedents were more likely to experience financial problems, unemployment, physical disability, mental illness (primarily depression), and to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and use illicit drugs. The primary source of prescription pain medication was from a healthcare provider (91.8 %), but other sources (not mutually exclusive) included: for free from a friend or relative (24 %); from someone without their knowledge (18.2 %); purchase from a friend, relative, or acquaintance (16.4 %); and purchase from a dealer (not a pharmacy) (11.6 %). CONCLUSIONS: The large majority of decedents were prescribed opioids for management of chronic pain and many exhibited behaviors indicative of prescribed medication misuse. Financial problems, unemployment, physical disability, depression, and substance use (including illegal drugs) were also common.

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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:Nonmedical prescription opiate use (NPOU) and nonmedical prescription sedative use (NPSU) are serious public health concerns. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence and emergency department (ED) visit characteristics and other correlates associated with past-year NPOU and NPSU among adolescents and young adults using the ED.METHODS:Participants aged 14 to 20 presenting to the ED at the University of Michigan Medical Center between September 2010 and September 2011 were systematically recruited. A computerized self-report screening survey with validated items measuring past-year NPOU, NPSU, substance use, and violence was delivered to participants, and a retrospective chart review was performed.RESULTS:Of the 2135 participants (86.0% response rate), 222 (10.4%) reported either NPOU or NPSU. Among the 185 (8.7%) participants that reported NPOU, 14.6% had a current home prescription for an opioid and among the 115 (5.4%) with NPSU, 12.3% had a current home prescription for a sedative. After controlling for demographics (age, gender, race, public assistance), correlates of NPOU or NPSU included other substance use, and drinking and driving or riding with a drinking driver. Additional correlates of NPOU included receiving an intravenous opioid in the ED and for NPSU, dating violence, presenting to the ED for a noninjury complaint, and previous ED visit in the past year.CONCLUSIONS:Nearly 1 in 10 young people who use the ED for care report NPOU or NPSU, and only 12.3% and 14.6% report having current home prescriptions for sedatives and opioids. The ED represents a key location for screening and intervention efforts.
    PEDIATRICS 10/2013; · 5.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study characterizes drug-related deaths according to ethnicity in Utah during 2005-2010, based on data from the Utah Violent Death Reporting System (UTVDRS). Hispanics made up 12.1% (12.5% male and 11.7% female) of deaths. The most frequently identified drugs among decedents were opiates, then illicit drugs, benzodiazepines, over-the-counter medication, and antidepressants. Death rates for each drug were significantly greater in non-Hispanics than Hispanics. Most decedents used a combination of drugs. For each combination, rates were significantly greater for non-Hispanics than Hispanics, with an exception for opiates and illicit drugs combined, where there was no significant difference. Approximately 79% of non-Hispanics and 65% of Hispanics had one or more of the selected problems (e.g., mental, physical, or crisis related). Rates for each combination of problems were significantly greater in non-Hispanics, with the exception of crisis. Hispanics were less affected by the rise in prescription drug abuse. Hispanic decedents had a greater proportion of illegal drugs, consistent with it being more difficult to obtain prescription drugs. Hispanic decedents were less likely to have physical and mental health problems, which may be related to a smaller chance of diagnosis of such problems through the healthcare system.
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May 16, 2014