The United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis. In 2017, there were over 70,237 drug overdose deaths—nearly 48,000 of which were attributable to opioids. Michigan alone experienced 2,695 deaths due to drug overdose, almost 28 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people.
In an effort to combat the opioid crisis, states are implementing an array of preventive measures to address the health consequences of opioid misuse and addiction. In recently published research, University of Michigan School of Public Health PhD students Amanda Mauri and Tarlise Townsend aggregated the various types of interventions into a single paper and review the findings.
“Our review informs decision-making around which opioid misuse prevention policies public officials should implement,” said Amanda Mauri, PhD student in the Department of Health Management & Policy and first author on the paper. “Specifically, public officials can use our findings to determine which policies will likely be most effective at addressing opioid prescribing and overprescribing.”
The research suggests that drug supply management policies, such as policies requiring prior authorization for specific opioids or dosages reduced overall opioid prescribing and dosage prescribed. Robust prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) such as those with multiple provisions (use and registration mandates and delegate access), were also found to reduce prescribing. Unfortunately, due to low study numbers and quality, evidence was insufficient to draw conclusions regarding interventions targeting patient behavior and patient health outcomes, Mauri said.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on December 13