CAHSS Faculty Articles

Department

Department of Justice and Human Services

Publication Date

12-9-2016

Publication Title

Plos One

Volume

11

Issue/No.

12

First Page

1

Last Page

12

Abstract

Background

Therapeutic use and abuse of prescription opioids in the United States increased substantially between 1990 and 2010. The Centers for Disease Control estimated deaths related to pharmaceutical opioids reached nearly 19,000 in 2014. Of prescription opioids sold, 10% are extended release (ER) and 90% immediate release (IR). However, most regulations and interventions have focused on decreasing ER abuse. Our objective was to compare rates of abuse and diversion of ER and IR opioid analgesics over time using multiple surveillance programs.

Methods

Rates of abuse and diversion of ER and IR opioid formulations were compared using data from four surveillance programs in the Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System. Data were evaluated from 2009 through 2015, and Poisson regression used to compare IR and ER opioid cases over time.

Results

From 2009 to 2015, IR opioids were prescribed at a rate 12 to 16 times higher than ER. In the Poison Center Program, population-adjusted rates of Intentional Abuse for IR were 4.6 fold higher than ER opioids (p

Conclusions

Between 2009 and 2015, IR opioids were prescribed at a much higher rate than ER opioids. Results from four surveillance programs show population-adjusted rates of prescription opioid abuse were markedly higher for IR than ER medications. For the greatest public health benefit, future interventions to decrease prescription opioid abuse should focus on both IR and ER formulations.

ORCID ID

0000-0001-9608-391X, 0000-0002-7372-9447, 0000-0001-7026-5117, 0000-0002-4716-3398, 0000-0002-5001-7391, 0000-0001-5989-9354

ResearcherID

H-3010-2014

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0167499

Peer Reviewed

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