Accidental drug overdose deaths in Connecticut, 2012–2018: The rise of polysubstance detection?

Taeho Greg Rhee, Joseph S. Ross, Robert A. Rosenheck, Lauretta E. Grau, David A. Fiellin, William C. Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To examine trends in polysubstance detection associated with drug-related overdose deaths in Connecticut. Methods: We used 2012–2018 data provided by Connecticut's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) on accidental overdose deaths. We estimated annual trends, standardizing the number of deaths per 100,000 Connecticut residents each year. We then conducted stratified analyses by polysubstance use status. We also examined the numbers of deaths involving fentanyl in a separate analysis. We obtained data in April 2018, and statistical analyses were performed from April to September 2018. Results: The rate of overdose deaths in Connecticut increased from 9.9 per 100,000 residents in 2012 to 28.5 per 100,000 residents in 2018—a 221 % increase—with the majority occurring among persons aged 35–64 (65.3 %), men (73.9 %), and non-Hispanic whites (78.5 %). Among deaths involving fentanyl, the overall deaths escalated from 5.2 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2015 to 21.3 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2018, and more than 50% of these fentanyl-related deaths involved polysubstance use. Conclusions: Connecticut experienced a more-than doubling of opioid-involved overdose deaths, largely driven by fentanyl and polysubstance use. The role of polysubstance use should be considered in efforts toward reducing opioid-related overdose incidents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107671
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume205
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Rhee reported no financial or other relationship relevant to this article. In the past 36 months, Ross has received research support through Yale University from Johnson and Johnson to develop methods of clinical trial data sharing, from Medtronic, Inc. and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop methods for post-market surveillance of medical devices (U01FD004585), from the Food and Drug Administration to establish Yale-Mayo Clinic Center for Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI) program (U01FD005938), from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association to better understand medical technology evaluation, from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop and maintain performance measures that are used for public reporting (HHSM-500-2013-13018I), from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R01HS022882), from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (R01HS025164), and from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to establish the Good Pharma Scorecard at Bioethics International and the Collaboration for Research Integrity and Transparency (CRIT) at Yale.

Funding Information:
In the past three years, Rhee received funding support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) ( #T32AG019134 ) through Yale University School of Medicine. The funding agency, NIH, had no role on this intellectual contribution from the study conception to journal publication.

Funding Information:
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the authors. All research procedures performed in this study are in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Review Board at University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Yale University School of Medicine. Rhee reported no financial or other relationship relevant to this article. In the past 36 months, Ross has received research support through Yale University from Johnson and Johnson to develop methods of clinical trial data sharing, from Medtronic, Inc. and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop methods for post-market surveillance of medical devices (U01FD004585), from the Food and Drug Administration to establish Yale-Mayo Clinic Center for Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI) program (U01FD005938), from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association to better understand medical technology evaluation, from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop and maintain performance measures that are used for public reporting (HHSM-500-2013-13018I), from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R01HS022882), from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (R01HS025164), and from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to establish the Good Pharma Scorecard at Bioethics International and the Collaboration for Research Integrity and Transparency (CRIT) at Yale.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Connecticut
  • Fentanyl
  • Mortality
  • Opioid
  • Overdose
  • Polysubstance use

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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