PBSS Data Briefs
From 2010 to 2015, annual overdose deaths involving opioids in the United States increased by nearly 57%, with a notable rise in deaths attributed to synthetic opioids other than methadone. A new Prescription Behavior Surveillance System (PBSS) Issue Brief compares trends in synthetic opioid overdose deaths in five states. The data show a close association between rising synthetic opioid overdose deaths and the rising availability of illicitly manufactured fentanyl.
Data released by the Commonwealth of Kentucky examines the relationship between rates of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in various regions of the state versus risky opioid prescribing behaviors observed in these same regions. In the wake of the ongoing opioid epidemic, NAS has greatly increased nationwide, more than tripling from 2004 to 2013. Findings in Kentucky reveal a close association between NAS and high opioid prescribing rates in the preceding year among women of childbearing age.
An analysis of Washington prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data revealed that multiple provider episodes (MPEs) vary by age group and class of prescription drug. Opioids and opioid combinations had the highest number of days of overlapping prescriptions, and eight opioids had a mean daily dosage greater than 120 morphine milligram equivalents (MME). Findings indicate that MPEs, overlapping prescription, and mean daily dosages over 100 MMEs are patient risk factors to look for in PDMP data.
Maine’s PDMP data was analyzed to examine several patient risk measures for prescription drug misuse, abuse and overdose. Patients aged 35-54 had the highest rate of MPEs, and opioids were the drug class most frequently involved with MPEs. However, the rate of MPEs declined from 2010 to 2014, and this coincided with an increase in prescribing of buprenorphine, widely used in treating opioid dependence.