United States

Changes Demographics, Number, and Substance Involved in Drug Overdoses in the US 1979-2016

"The overall mortality rate for unintentional drug poisonings in the United States grew exponentially from 1979 through 2016. This exponentially increasing mortality rate has tracked along a remarkably smooth trajectory (log linear R2 = 0.99) for at least 38 years (left panel). By contrast, the trajectories of mortality rates from individual drugs have not tracked along exponential trajectories. Cocaine was a leading cause in 2005–2006, which was overtaken successively by prescription opioids, then heroin, and then synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

Prevalence Among High School Students in the US of Ever Having Injected a Drug, by Gender

"Nationwide, 1.5% of students had used a needle to inject any illegal drug into their body one or more times during their life (Supplementary Table 129). The prevalence of having ever injected any illegal drug was higher among male (2.0%) than female (0.8%) students; higher among white male (1.4%), black male (2.6%), and Hispanic male (2.1%) than white female (0.5%), black female (1.1%), and Hispanic female (0.9%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade male (2.1%) and 10th-grade male (1.9%) than 9th grade female (0.6%) and 10th-grade female (0.6%) students, respectively.

Current Alcohol Use Among High School Students in the US, by Gender

"Nationwide, 29.8% of students had had at least one drink of alcohol on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey (i.e., current alcohol use) (Supplementary Table 98). The prevalence of current alcohol use was higher among female (31.8%) than male (27.6%) students; higher among black female (24.3%) and Hispanic female (35.9%) than black male (16.9%) and Hispanic male (26.8%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade female (22.0%) and 11th-grade female (36.8%) than 9th-grade male (15.3%) and 11th-grade male (31.6%) students, respectively.

Tightened Restrictions on Legal Prescription Hydrocodone Led to Increase in Illegal Sales

"Objective: To examine the effect on the trade in opioids through online illicit markets (“cryptomarkets”) of the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s ruling in 2014 to reschedule hydrocodone combination products.

"Design: Interrupted time series analysis.

"Setting: 31 of the world’s largest cryptomarkets operating from October 2013 to July 2016.

Restrictions On Opioid Prescribing Are Negatively Impacting People With Cancer And Other Serious Illnesses

"A growing number of restrictions on opioid prescribing are already impacting these patient populations."

According to a survey conducted for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the Patient Quality of Life Coalition:

Patients answering yes to "Has your doctor indicated his or her treatment options for your pain were limited by laws, guidelines, or your insurance coverage?"
Patients Being Treated For Cancer: 48%
Patients Being Treated For Chronic Pain: 40%
Patients Being Treated For Other Serious Illnesses: 56%