The rise of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids is unlike any drug crisis in U.S. history. Limiting policy responses to existing approaches will likely be insufficient and may condemn many people to early deaths.
We conducted a scoping study to identify data sources and linking strategies commonly used in opioid studies, describe data source strengths and limitations, and highlight opportunities to use data to address public health research questions.
Evidence suggests that once a synthetic opioid like fentanyl becomes dominant in a drug market, it stays that way. With that in mind, the United States should prepare for these drugs as a lasting phenomenon.
State policies that impose punitive action against pregnant women who use illicit substances are associated with higher rates of infants being born with opioid withdrawal. This suggests that policymakers should instead focus on public health approaches that bolster prevention and expand access to treatment.
Understanding effects of cannabis laws requires greater attention to differences in short- versus long-term effects of the laws, nuances of policies and patterns of consumption, and careful consideration of appropriate control groups.
Although opioid prescriptions in the U.S. have fallen, opioid overdose deaths remain at historic levels. The continued spread of fentanyl and other illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids suggests the problem could still get worse.
Although overdose deaths from heroin and prescription opioids have declined, deaths involving synthetic opioids are on the rise. Much of the current wave of overdoses is linked to one synthetic opioid: fentanyl.
This study examines the associations between college attendance and subsequent alcohol and marijuana use behaviors at multiple ages during young adulthood and adulthood, while rigorously controlling for baseline differences by college type.