Kelly E Dunn

Kelly E Dunn
Johns Hopkins Medicine | JHUSOM · Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

PhD; MBA

About

113
Publications
8,922
Reads
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2,426
Citations
Introduction
Additional affiliations
December 2016 - present
Johns Hopkins University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
June 2013 - December 2016
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 2010 - December 2011
Johns Hopkins University

Publications

Publications (113)
Article
Objectives: Adverse childhood experiences, or early life trauma (ELT), may be a potential risk factor for opioid use disorders (OUDs) that could be further influenced by depression, anxiety, and stress. The prevalence and strength of these associations are largely unknown. Methods: This study examined the association between current OUD severity...
Article
Despite a rapid expansion of cannabis use for pain management, how cannabis and prescription opioids are co-used and whether co-use improves analgesia and promotes reduction of opioid use in the daily lives of individuals with chronic pain is poorly understood. Based upon ecological momentary assessment (EMA), the present study examined (1) how pai...
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Background: Mitragyna speciosa (kratom) is increasingly used in the United States for its pharmacological effects. Kratom's relative novelty makes for a dynamic situation, such that use motivations are not firmly established and may be changing. Investigators and clinicians require frequent updates on kratom trends. Objectives: To assess the cur...
Article
Increased orexin/hypocretin signaling is implicated in opioid withdrawal, sleep disturbances, and drug-seeking behaviors. This study examined whether a dual-orexin receptor antagonist would improve sleep and withdrawal outcomes when compared with placebo during a buprenorphine/naloxone taper. Thirty-eight participants with opioid use disorder were...
Article
Background Improving sleep health is an important target for substance use disorder (SUD) research. However, there is little guidance for SUD researchers regarding the use of technologies to objectively assess sleep outcomes in randomized-controlled trials (RCTs). This systematic review aimed to describe the use of technologies to objectively measu...
Article
Background Sleep disturbances and disorders are a common and sometimes recalcitrant problem in persons recovering from substance use disorders (SUDs). As such, several randomized-controlled trials (RCTs) have been conducted to address sleep disturbances in a variety of SUD subpopulations and clinical scenarios. The goal of this systematic review wa...
Article
More information is needed about comorbidities among patients receiving buprenorphine maintenance treatment and their relationship with retention. Retrospective electronic health record data over a 5‐year period from primary care patients receiving buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder were examined (N = 899). The present analysis...
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Emergent harms presented by the co-use of opioids and methamphetamine highlight the broader public health challenge of preventing and treating opioid and stimulant co-use. Development of effective therapeutics requires an understanding of the physiological mechanisms that may be driving co-use patterns, specifically the underlying neurobiology of c...
Article
Successful management of opioid withdrawal improves long-term treatment outcomes and reduces opioid use-related morbidity and mortality. Mechanistically supported pharmacotherapeutic approaches are needed to effectively manage acute and protracted opioid withdrawal. Buspirone is a D2 antagonist and 5-HT1a agonist that may decrease opioid withdrawal...
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Initial experiences with drugs may influence an individual's motivations for continued use. This study evaluated the relationship between subjective effects elicited by an individual's first use of alcohol or cannabis, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) alcohol use disorder (AUD) or cannabis use disorder (C...
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There is limited understanding regarding kratom use among US adults. Although motivations for use are increasingly understood, typical kratom doses, threshold of (low and high) doses for perceived effectiveness, and effects produced during cessation are not well documented. We aimed to extend prior survey work by recruiting adults with current and...
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Background The coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic was initially characterized by misinformation and fear related to transmission that has been previously shown to produce stigma toward persons perceived to be at risk for transmission. This study evaluated perceptions toward scenarios with variable levels of perceived risk for COVID-19 acquisition,...
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Introduction: Since 2007, kratom use in the United States has increased, centered around nonmedical self-treatment of pain, psychiatric, and substance use disorder symptoms. Reports of kratom withdrawal have emerged amidst description of therapeutic effects, yet we know little about disordered use. Our objective was to assess Diagnostic and Statis...
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Objectives: Buprenorphine can precipitate withdrawal in opioid-dependent persons with recent fentanyl use. However, the prevalence of this phenomenon is not clinically established. We sought to evaluate the incidence of buprenorphine-precipitated withdrawal in persons who use fentanyl. Methods: We collected self-report data on opioid withdrawal...
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Background: Increases in opioid-related overdose and death have led to increases in the number of organs available for donation and transplant, however persons who have a substance use disorder (SUD) may be disadvantaged relative to other health conditions with regard to receiving an organ for transplant. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate per...
Article
Kratom, a plant that produces opioid-like effects, has gained popularity in the U.S. for self-treating symptoms of chronic pain, mood disorders, and substance-use disorders (SUDs). Most data on kratom are from surveys into which current kratom-using adults could self-select; such surveys may underrepresent people who have used kratom and chosen to...
Article
Background: More than 3 million individuals receive treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) and/or substance use disorder each year, yet there exists no standardized method for measuring patient success in treatment. Quantifying a more comprehensive assessment of treatment outcomes could identify the relative efficacy of different treatment strat...
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Background: Intensive longitudinal studies are needed to examine the co-use of prescription opioid medication and medical cannabis and their effects on chronic pain. The current study sought to investigate the feasibility and participant compliance with a smartphone-based Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) data collection protocol among individ...
Article
Sleep impairment is a common comorbid and debilitating symptom for persons with opioid use disorder (OUD). Research into underlying mechanisms and efficacious treatment interventions for OUD-related sleep problems requires both precise and physiologic measurements of sleep-related outcomes and impairment. This pilot examined the feasibility of a wi...
Article
As fatal overdoses from synthetic opioids continue to rise, we need to understand decision-making processes underlying heroin and synthetic opioid use. This study evaluated the influence of sample impurity and fatal overdose risk on hypothetical heroin use. Individuals who currently use heroin (n = 69) were recruited online. Participants completed...
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Background Methamphetamine use is a growing public health concern in the United States. Prior analyses with nationally representative data from 2015-2017 suggested that increases in methamphetamine use appeared largely selective to people using heroin. This analysis updated prior estimates to determine if trends are selectively persistent and how t...
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This Phase II study evaluated analgesia, abuse liability, and cognitive performance of hydromorphone and oral delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC; dronabinol) using a within-subject, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, human laboratory trial. Healthy adults (N = 29) with no history of drug use disorder received combinations of placebo, hydr...
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A robust body of research has shown that traumatic experiences occurring during critical developmental periods of childhood when neuronal plasticity is high increase risks for a spectrum of physical and mental health problems in adulthood, including substance use disorders. However, until recently, relatively few studies had specifically examined t...
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Objectives: The novel 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has caused considerable upheaval in the U.S. healthcare system. The current study examined patient-reported experiences in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis. Methods: Participants in SUD treatment were recruited via online crowdsourcing f...
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Persons with opioid use disorder (OUD) often experience anhedonia and demoralization, yet there is relatively little research on the pathophysiology of anhedonia and demoralization in OUD treatment and recovery. In the current study, persons maintained on methadone (N = 29) underwent a natural reward-cue paradigm during functional near-infrared spe...
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Introduction Covid-19 confers substantial risk for the >400,000 patients who receive methadone for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) and methods for safely dispensing large quantities of methadone to patients are lacking. Methods This study evaluated the MedMinder “Jon”, an electronic and cellular-enabled pillbox that provides real-time m...
Article
This study describes use of the commercially available Medminder electronic pillbox at a community substance use disorder treatment program to safely increase the number of methadone take-home doses administered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pillbox contains 28 cells that lock independently and can be opened only during preprogrammed time windo...
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Background Despite effective, evidence-based medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), these treatments remain underutilized. This may be due to multiple reasons. Family members may impact patient decision-making when choosing an opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment. While there has been work on patient preferences and attitudes towards opioid use...
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Purpose of Review Women with opioid use disorder (OUD) face unique challenges the moment they enter treatment. This narrative review focused on recent literature regarding sex- and gender-based issues that could affect treatment outcomes in women with OUD. Recent Findings Women respond differently to opioids based on hormonal factors, are more lik...
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Background Although craving is a formal DSM-5 criterion and a commonly reported feature of opioid use disorder (OUD), there is no universally accepted assessment of opioid craving for treatment outcome studies or clinical trials. This mixed-methods study characterized dimensions of opioid craving identified in qualitative responses collected via Am...
Article
Objectives: Efforts to improve buprenorphine access for opioid use disorder have focused on increasing the number of waivered providers. However, it is unknown how efforts to increase initial prescribing result in a sustained pool of prescribers. We examine the prevalence of year-to-year provider-level buprenorphine prescribing, and provider- and...
Article
Although opioid withdrawal ratings are frequently used as primary outcomes for therapeutic trials, there has been limited empirical examination of opioid withdrawal symptom onset or etiology as an outcome, and also little examination of differences in outcomes between patient-reported and observer-ratings of withdrawal. Patient-reported (Subjective...
Article
Background and Objectives Individuals exposed to fentanyl are at risk of precipitated withdrawal using typical buprenorphine/naloxone induction procedures. Methods This case series describes buprenorphine/naloxone inductions of four individuals who tested positive for fentanyl. Results Buprenorphine‐precipitated withdrawal was observed in two ind...
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Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a significant health problem, and understanding mechanisms of various aspects of OUD including drug use and withdrawal is important. Preclinical models provide an ideal opportunity to evaluate mechanisms underlying opioid withdrawal. Current models are limited by their reliance upon forced opioid administration, focus o...
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Background Cannabinoids may potentiate opioid analgesia and therefore could be used to reduce reliance on opioids for analgesia. Aims The current study evaluated whether the concurrent availability of cannabis influences opioid consumption using a behavioral economic demand framework. Methods An online survey assessed cannabis and opioid use freq...
Preprint
Full-text available
Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a significant health problem, and understanding mechanisms of various aspects of OUD including drug use and withdrawal is important. Preclinical models provide an ideal opportunity to evaluate mechanisms underlying opioid withdrawal. Current models are limited by their reliance upon forced opioid administration, focus o...
Article
Objectives Four states have legalized medical cannabis for the purpose of treating opioid use disorder. It is unclear whether cannabinoids improve or exacerbate opioid withdrawal. A more thorough examination of cannabis and its impact on specific symptoms of opioid withdrawal is warranted. Method Two hundred individuals recruited through Amazon Me...
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Importance While many individuals with opioid use disorder seek treatment at residential facilities to initiate long-term recovery, the availability and use of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUDs) in these facilities is unclear. Objective To examine differences in MOUD availability and use in residential facilities as a function of Medicaid...
Article
Background: Kratom, a Southeast Asian plant with opioid-receptor mediated effects, has emerged as a potential substance of abuse, with limited data on its use and effects. This study characterized kratom user demographics, use patterns, and perceived drug effects. Methods: A cross-sectional, anonymous online survey was conducted between January...
Article
Background: Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a significant public health problem for which a substantial amount of treatment exists. The degree to which methadone and buprenorphine are administered in different treatment modalities is not clear but critical to understanding treatment success rates and service development strategies. Methods: Data fr...
Article
Background Methadone maintenance is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), yet many methadone-maintained patients (MMPs) struggle with cocaine use during OUD recovery. The current study aimed to identify whether prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during a risky decision-making task was associated with cocaine use during a 90-day follo...
Article
Background: Opioids have high abuse potential and pose a major public health concern. Yet, a large percentage of individuals exposed to opioids do not develop problematic use. Individual differences in opioid abuse potential are not well understood. Methods: This within-subject (N = 16), double-blind, double-dummy, human laboratory study evaluat...
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Background: Tramadol is an opioid-analgesic that has shown epidemiological evidence of abuse. This review evaluates the evidence for tramadol abuse potential in humans. Methods: A systematic literature search for human abuse liability examinations of tramadol was conducted in September 2018 and yielded 13 total studies. Studies were all within-subj...
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Opioid misuse and abuse is a major international public health issue. Opioid use disorder (OUD) is largely maintained by a desire to suppress aversive opioid withdrawal symptoms. Opioid withdrawal in patients seeking abstinence from illicit or prescribed opioids is often managed by provision of a μ-opioid agonist/partial agonist in combination with...
Article
Objectives: There has been advocacy for legalization of abusable substances, but systematic data on societal beliefs regarding such legalization are limited. People who use substances may have unique beliefs about legalization, and this study assessed whether they would be in favor of drug legalization/decriminalization. It was hypothesized that t...
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Opioid use disorder (OUD) and its consequences are a major public health concern. The partial agonist buprenorphine is a safe and effective treatment for OUD, but concerns about abuse, misuse, and diversion of buprenorphine have been raised. This narrative review examined the rates and motives for use of illicit buprenorphine in the United States....
Article
Background: Understanding mechanisms of physiological opioid withdrawal symptoms can inform treatment strategies. This secondary analysis evaluated the association between mydriasis (dilated pupils), a commonly-assessed opioid withdrawal metric, with self- and observer-rated opioid withdrawal severity. Method: Ninety-five participants with opioi...
Article
Background: In response to the opioid overdose epidemic, scalable interventions that instruct at-risk populations how to prevent and respond to overdose scenarios are needed. Method: The following groups of at-risk individuals were recruited online: (1) Acute Pain patients with an opioid prescription, (2) Chronic Pain patients with an opioid pre...
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Background and Objectives In order to address the current opioid crisis, research on treatment outcomes for persons with opioid use disorder (OUD) should account for biological factors that could influence individual treatment response. Women and men might have clinically meaningful differences in their experience in OUD treatment and might also ha...
Article
Objective: Individuals with chronic pain who misuse prescription opioids are at high risk for developing opioid use disorder and/or succumbing to opioid overdose. The current study conducted a survey to evaluate sex-based differences in pain catastrophizing, opioid withdrawal, and current pain in persons with co-occurring chronic pain and opioid m...
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Background: While most opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment providers consider opioid abstinence to be the preferred outcome, little is known about the treatment preferences of the larger population of individuals who engage in nonmedical opioid use and have not yet sought treatment. This study sought to descriptively quantify the proportion of out...
Article
There are several biological factors that might play a role in physiological response to opioids and/or the onset of problematic opioid use; however, sex-based differences in non-analgesic opioid-based effects are poorly understood. The goal of this review is to provide a current analysis of the pre-clinical literature on sex-based differences in r...
Article
Background Several single‐site alcohol treatment clinical trials have demonstrated efficacy for immediate‐release (IR) gabapentin in reducing drinking outcomes among individuals with alcohol dependence. The purpose of this study was to conduct a large, multisite clinical trial of gabapentin enacarbil extended‐release (GE‐XR) (HORIZANT®), a gabapent...
Article
Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a public health crisis. Differences in opioid withdrawal severity that predict treatment outcome could facilitate the process of matching patients to treatments. This is a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) that enrolled treatment seeking heroin‐users (N = 89, males = 78) into a residential study....
Article
Background: Older adults with opioid use disorder (OUD) are a medically complex population. The current study evaluated trends in older adults seeking treatment for OUD, with a focus on primary heroin versus prescription opioid use. This study also compared older adults with OUD to the younger OUD population on demographics and drug use behaviors....
Article
Methadone maintenance is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder, yet many methadone-maintained patients (MMPs) continue to struggle with chronic relapse. The current study evaluated whether functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) could identify prefrontal cortex (PFC) markers of ongoing opioid use in MMPs, and whether clinical measure...
Article
African Americans are subject to health disparities in smoking and chronic pain. Given that nicotine has analgesic properties, increases in acute pain may be an expression of the tobacco abstinence syndrome, particularly among African American smokers with chronic pain. This report is a secondary analysis of data from an ongoing study of individual...
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Background This study compared the effects of the several doses of the opioid agonists heroin and hydromorphone across two routes of administration in humans. The goal was to guide development of human laboratory studies of opioid effects and inform subsequent injection pharmacotherapy trials of hydromorphone-assisted treatment. MethodsA within-sub...
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Background: Opioid-related overdose has increased 137% in the past decade. Training nonmedical bystanders to administer naloxone (Narcan™) is a widely-researched intervention that has been associated with decreases in overdose rates in the communities in which it has been implemented. A recent review advocated for noninjectable formulations of nal...
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Background Opioid overdose (OD) rates in the United States have reached unprecedented levels. Current OD prevention strategies largely consist of distribution of naloxone and in-person trainings, which face obstacles to expedient, widespread dissemination. Web-based interventions have increased opioid-OD response knowledge in patients with opioid-u...
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In Reply We appreciate this clarification being made for JAMA Psychiatry readers from Williams. When our study¹ commenced in 2010, tramadol had scientific promise as an opioid treatment medication because it was unscheduled, and human laboratory and small-scale clinical trials indicated it adequately suppressed opioid withdrawal. The reclassificati...
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Background: Relatively little is known regarding the perception of medication-assisted treatments (MATs) and other treatment options amongst individuals that engage in non-medical prescription opioid use. This study surveyed out-of-treatment individuals that misuse opioids to better understand how perceived access to treatment shapes treatment pre...
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Problematic prescription opioid use is cited as a primary contributor to the current ‘opioid epidemic’ in the United States, which is characterized by recent rapid increases in individuals seeking treatment for opioid dependence and staggering rates of opioid overdose deaths. Individuals with chronic pain are commonly prescribed opioids to treat pa...
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Importance Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a significant public health problem. Supervised withdrawal (ie, detoxification) from opioids using clonidine or buprenorphine hydrochloride is a widely used treatment. Objective To evaluate whether tramadol hydrochloride extended-release (ER), an approved analgesic with opioid and nonopioid mechanisms of act...
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Background: Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a significant public health problem, and opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) on methadone or buprenorphine is a common approach. This study characterized sleep impairment in patients maintained on methadone or buprenorphine, and evaluated its association with psychiatric and medical comorbidities. Methods:...
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Background: Opioid overdose (OD) has become a significant public health problem in need of effective interventions. The majority of existing educational interventions target provision of naloxone and are conducted in-person; these elements present logistical barriers that may limit wide-spread implementation. This study developed and evaluated an...
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Background & objective: Buprenorphine is an underutilized pharmacotherapy that can play a key role in combating the opioid epidemic. Individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) often struggle to find physicians that prescribe buprenorphine. Many physicians do not have the waiver to prescribe buprenorphine, and a large proportion of physicians that...
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Aim: To test whether an incentive-based intervention that increased adherence to naltrexone also increased opiate abstinence. Design: Post-hoc combined analysis of three earlier randomized controlled trials that showed individually that incentives for adherence to oral and to extended-release injection naltrexone dosing schedules increased naltr...
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Alcohol use disorder has been linked to dysregulation of the brain stress systems, producing a negative emotional state leading to chronic relapsing behavior. Vasopressin receptors appear to have a regulatory role in stress, anxiety, and alcohol. This study evaluated the novel compound, ABT-436, a V1b receptor antagonist, in alcohol dependent parti...