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October 03, 2020
10/3/2020 9:00:00 AM - 10/5/2020 3:00:00 PM
Room Virtual
Finally, A Decrease In Abuse Of Prescription Pain Medications Over Time
Mario Moric, M.S., Asokumar Buvanendran, M.D.
Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Disclosures: M. Moric: None. A. Buvanendran: None.
Introduction: Both use of prescription pain medication as well as abuse have risen considerably in the last. In 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication; enough for every American adult to have a bottle of opioids (1). Prescription Pain Medicine (PPM) abuse has become a national problem so much so that on a Feb 2, 2016 the White House has proposed $1.1 billion for funding prescription opioid abuse mitigation.

Methods: Data on the type and rate of PPM abuse was gathered from National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) public data for 2002 to 2018. The NSDUH is an annual cross-sectional survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and provides estimates of the prevalence of alcohol and drug use in the United States. Questions in illicit use of PPM over the prior 12 months was the primary question examined. Data were analyzed using SAS version 9.4 (SAS Institute, Cary, NC), and data are presented as percentages of all respondents from a representative sample of the US population. Statistical analyses were performed taking into account the multistage survey sampling methodology of the survey, using the SAS procedure ‘Proc Surveyreg’ using sampling weights. Due to a redesign for the 2015 survey comparison are performed within survey designs (2002-2014 and 2015-2018). Significance was set at 0.05.

Results: The rates of the Prescription Pain Medication abuse (PPM) remained steady from 2002 to 2009 (an increase from 2000, not shown). There was a sharply decline in 2010 and then an increase to 2012 and then a steady decline from 2012 to 2014. The only significant declines were from 2002 to 2013 and 2014 as well as from 2015 to 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Conclusion: It is refreshing to see declines in PPM abuse after a long stay at elevated levels. We can see that under both versions of the NSDUH survey declines in abuse were seen, so that either way the questionnaires are presented declines were seen. Also seen is the difference in possible absolute levels between the two surveys, possibly indicating that the new survey is more sensitive to PPM abuse which may also indicate that earlier surveys were underestimating the effect. The good news is that under either parameterization a decline was seen.

References: 1. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep (2014) 63:563-5683
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