Opioid Prescribing Declines, but Decreases Are Not Uniform

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Quarterly insights from the RAND Drug Policy Research Center

February 2022

Closeup of a hand writing a prescription, photo by megaflopp/Getty Images

Opioid Prescribing Declines, But Decreases Are Not Uniform

The volume of prescription opioids dispensed from retail pharmacies declined by 21 percent from 2008 to 2018, but the decline was not uniform across geographic areas, among types of patients, or by type of prescriber. Read more »

Father and son talking while walking outside, photo by mixetto/Getty Images

Photo by mixetto/Getty Images

Funding Family Involvement in Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Family support has important impacts on recovery from substance use disorders (SUDs). However, financing gaps limit SUD service systems from offering family services. RAND researchers offer recommendations for funding family involvement in SUD services.

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Marijuana in a jar, photo by MmeEmil/Getty Images

Photo by MmeEmil/Getty Images

Green Light for Cannabis Legalisation in Germany Is Not a Clear-Cut Decision

The new "traffic light" coalition in Germany recently agreed to regulate the sale of cannabis to adults for nonmedical purposes in licensed shops. International experience has shown that great care is needed when considering alternatives to prohibiting cannabis supply.

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EKG or ECG monitor flatlining over a background of prescription pills, image by wildpixel/Getty Images

Photo by wildpixel/Getty Images

New Insights on Mixing Fentanyl and Benzodiazepines

In 2020, there were more than 55,000 deaths involving synthetic opioids in the U.S., where data lags and limited cross-agency coordination impedes understanding of transitioning illegal drug markets. Better and more current data from Canada can offer some understanding, given its similar experience with illegally manufactured synthetic opioids.

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Close up of a row of bottles of injectable Naloxone, an opioid overdose medication, photo by powerofforever/Getty Images

Photo by powerofforever/Getty Images

Reducing Opioid Overdose Deaths by Expanding Naloxone Distribution and Addressing Barriers to Care

The past decade has seen substantial efforts to expand naloxone availability through three primary channels: emergency medical services, pharmacies, and overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) programs.

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Bryce Pardo

Bryce Pardo

Associate Director, RAND Drug Policy Research Center

Policy Researcher

Rosanna Smart

Rosanna Smart

Associate Director, RAND Drug Policy Research Center


Mafalda Pardal

Mafalda Pardal

RAND Europe Lead, RAND Drug Policy Research Center

Senior Analyst

Beau Kilmer

Beau Kilmer

Director, RAND Drug Policy Research Center

McCauley Chair in Drug Policy Innovation