Articles, Reports and Briefs

Resource Name

Brief Description

How Fentanyl Changes the Opioid Equation

This article from the PEW Charitable Trusts reports on the growing impact that fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are having on the opioid crisis, challenges in detecting fentanyl, and the dangers it poses due to its lethality and role in overdose outbreaks.

Any Use and Frequent Use of Opioids among Non-Elderly Adults in 2015 – 2016, by Socioeconomic Characteristics

This statistical brief from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) details a study on the rate of opioid prescribing for adults ages 18-64 from 2015-2016. The brief presents data on regarding poverty status, race, and whether prescriptions were filled in a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or not, among other factors.

Vital Signs: Trends in Emergency Department Visits for Suspected Opioid Overdoses — United States, July 2016–September 2017

Findings from this report published March 2018 by The Center for Disease Control, suggests opioid overdose deaths increased 27.7%, indicating a worsening of the opioid overdose epidemic. Access to medication-assisted treatment is called out as one of the promising solutions. The article provides information regarding opioid overdoses by region and urbanization levels and called for a need for localized response.

ASAM Weekly

ASAM Weekly is a source of timely news briefings of top stories for addiction medicine combined with ASAM developments in education, advocacy, state chapter news and more. ASAM Weekly is a great way to keep informed and is delivered to the inboxes of ASAM members every Tuesday.

Rising from the Ashes: How Trauma-Informed Care Nurtures Healing in Rural America

The negative and ongoing effects of traumatic experiences are the reason many communities and medical providers are using an approach called trauma-informed care. This article features ways trauma is understood and treated in a rural community, a Wyoming pediatrician's clinic, and for nurses providing assault exams.

Addiction Medicine Mostly Prescribed to Whites, Even as Opioid Deaths Rose Among Blacks

According to a new study from the University of Michigan, white people using heroin, fentanyl and other opioids have near-exclusive access to buprenorphine. While the opioid death rate is rising higher for African Americans, researchers found white people are 35 times more likely to receive buprenorphine than are African Americans or other people of color.

Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Cocaine and Psychostimulants with Abuse Potential

A new CDC report shows age-adjusted death rates in 2016 and 2017 for cocaine and psychostimulants, with information by age group, sex, race/ethnicity, urbanization level, U.S. Census region, and state. The report provides national-level trend data for 2003-2017 on deaths related to these substances that also involved opioids and that did not involve opioids. The report states synthetic opioids appear to be the primary driver of cocaine-involved death rate increases. Recent data also point to increasing synthetic opioid involvement in psychostimulant-involved deaths.

HIV Cases Tied to Opioids Spike in West Virginia County

This Politico article from September 2019 cites that recent HIV cases have been tied to an opioids spike in West Virginia county, as Cabell County reported 74 cases of HIV since January 2018, primarily among people sharing used needles. A cluster of HIV cases in a county represents what public health officials have long feared amid the nationwide opioid epidemic.

Trajectories of Prescription Drug Misuse During the Transition from Late Adolescence into Adulthood in the USA: A National Longitudinal Multicohort Study

Authors of a new journal article in the Lancet followed over 5,000 adolescents in the US from age 18 until 35 (1976 – 1996) to assess age trajectories for highest frequency drug misuse (opioids, stimulants, and sedatives) and subsequent SUD in adulthood. Prescription drug misuse trajectories were all associated with significantly greater odds of having two or more substance use disorder symptoms at age 35 years. Risk factors associated with higher-risk trajectories included high school heavy drinking, cigarette smoking, marijuana use, poly-prescription drug misuse, white race, and not completing a 4-year university degree.

Hepatitis A Races Across the Country

The spread of Hepatitis A is following the opioid epidemic and is especially challenging to control in rural areas. The virus is most prevalent among people who use drugs and for those that are homeless. It is also spreading to the general population; only 9.5% of adults 19 and older have been vaccinated. Public health officials are working to administer vaccinations across the country.