In research news:

In a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found that for hospital emergency department visits for opioid overdoses, 67.8 percent of the overdoses involved prescription opioids (including methadone), followed by heroin, other unspecified opioids and multiple opioids, according to a research letter published online. Opioid overdoses are a leading cause of death in the United States but little is known nationally about how opioid overdoses present in emergency departments (EDs). Many patients who overdosed shared common coexisting illnesses, including chronic mental health, circulatory and respiratory diseases, so health care providers who prescribe opioids to patients with these preexisting conditions should do so with care and counsel the patients, according to the authors. About half of the patients in the study sample who went to the ED for opioid overdoses were admitted to the hospital and costs for both inpatient and ED care totaled nearly $2.3 billion.

Read the full brief here. Read an editorial take from Prium’s president Michael Gavin here.

 

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