Following three possible recommendations for medical care for people with an opioid addiction may cut deaths among such patients by as much as one-third. Deaths were much lower among patients who were not prescribed opioids or common types of anxiety medications, those who received psychosocial counseling, and those who had quarterly visits with a physician.
Abundant supply of opioids was one of the major causes of the opioid crisis. Broader supply-side policies that consider the full market, if coupled with effective treatment, are likely to be effective and resistant to substitution effects.
Outpatient guidelines can help hospitalists evaluate inpatients on long-term opioid therapy, but more work is needed to help providers make decisions for inpatients that balance effective pain treatment and opioid risk reduction.
The association between medical marijuana and lower levels of opioid overdose deaths—identified previously in several studies—is more complex than previously described. It appears to be changing as both medical marijuana laws and the opioid crisis evolve.
Among Medicaid recipients, high-risk prescribing of opioids occurred in 39.4% of episodes. Four characteristics -- Older age, rural county of residence, white race, and major depression diagnosis -- were associated with higher rates of all types of high-risk prescribing.
Patients of community health clinics who screen positive for alcohol or opioid misuse have a high probability of an alcohol- or substance-use disorder and a slightly higher prevalence of mental illness than the overall clinic population.
Most buprenorphine prescribers treat many fewer patients than allowed by the current patient limit. Increasing the limit above 100 would likely improve access only for patients of a few high prescribers.
This report describes the costs of implementing the substance use motivation and medication integrated treatment (SUMMIT) program, separating the resources spent by a multi-site large health center in Los Angeles County and the external facilitators.
This issue highlights recent RAND research on post-9/11 military caregivers; RAND-Lex, a computer program built at RAND that can analyze huge data sets of text; and the implications of climate change on Arctic cooperation.
Combining substance abuse treatment with regular medical care can successfully treat people with opioid or alcohol addiction, providing an option that might expand treatment and lower the cost of caring for people caught up in the nation's opioid epidemic.