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Disparities by Sex and Race and Ethnicity in Death Rates Due to Opioid Overdose Among Adults 55 Years or Older, 1999 to 2019. 

Mason M, Soliman R, Kim HS, Post LA. 

JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(1):e2142982. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.42982


Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2020. 

Hedegaard H, Miniño AM, Spencer MR, Warner M. 

NCHS Data Brief, no 428. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. doi.org/10.15620/cdc:112340


Drug Overdose Mortality Among People Experiencing Homelessness, 2003 to 2018. 

Fine DR, Dickins KA, Adams LD, et al. 

JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(1):e2142676. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.42676


USA/Kanada. NPS Alerts: New Synthetic Opioid and ‘Unusual’ Overdose Symptoms (protonitazene)

The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (CFSRE) (…) warns of the emergence of protonitazene, an opioid that is approximately three times more potent than fentanyl. (CFSRE - Center for Forensic Science Research and Education, USA, 13.12.2021)


Causes of death among people who used illicit opioids in England, 2001–18: a matched cohort study

Lewer, Dan et al.

The Lancet Public Health, Volume 0, Issue 0 


UK. QMJC August 2021: Drug fatalities and treatment fatalism: Complicating the ageing cohort theory

The Qualitative Methods Journal Club discuss a paper that rethinks the assumed causal link between age and drug-related deaths. The study draws on the experiences of 15 older people based in South London, who had been using heroin for more than twenty years. The findings add a fresh perspective to the conversation about drug-related deaths, turning attention away from inherent vulnerabilities in the individual to flaws in the treatment system. (SSA – Society fort he Study of Addiction, UK, 04.10.2021)


Trends in and Characteristics of Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Illicitly Manufactured Fentanyls — United States, 2019–2020. 

O’Donnell J, Tanz LJ, Gladden RM, Davis NL, Bitting J. 

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:1740-1746. doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7050e3


EMCDDA. Opioid-related deaths: health and social responses (Miniguide)

This miniguide is one of a larger set, which together comprise Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide 2021. It provides an overview of the most important aspects to consider when planning or delivering health and social responses to opioid-related deaths, and reviews the availability and effectiveness of the responses. It also considers implications for policy and practice. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 17.12.2021)


Relationship Between Cardiovascular Disease Pathology and Fatal Opioid and Other Sedative Overdose: A Post-Mortem Investigation and Pilot Study. 

Arab AZ, Conti AA, Davey F, Khan F, Baldacchino AM. 

Front Pharmacol. 2021 Nov 5;12:725034. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2021.725034. PMID: 34803676; PMCID: PMC8602184.


Modeling the population-level impact of opioid agonist treatment on mortality among people accessing treatment between 2001 and 2020 in New South Wales, Australia. 

Chaillon, A, Bharat, C, Stone, J, Jones, N, Degenhardt, L, Larney, S, et al. 

Addiction. 2021; 1– 15. doi.org/10.1111/add.15736


Relation of substance use disorders to mortality, accident and emergency department attendances, and hospital admissions: A 13-year population-based cohort study in Hong Kong. 

Wei Y, Zhao J, Wong IC, Wan EY, Taylor DM, Blais JE, Castle DJ, Knott JC, Tse ML, Chow AT, Chan EW. 

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2021 Oct 10;229(Pt B):109119. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.109119. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34717115.


Findings from the recovery initiation and management after overdose (RIMO) pilot study experiment. 

Scott CK, Dennis ML, Grella CE, Nicholson L, Sumpter J, Kurz R, Funk R. 

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2020 Jan;108:65-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2019.08.004. Epub 2019 Aug 7. PMID: 31493942; PMCID: PMC6893133.


USA. More Than 100,000 in the U.S. Died of Overdoses from May 2020 to April 2021

More than 100,000 people in the United States died of drug overdoses from May 2020 to April 2021 — an increase of 28.5% from the same period a year earlier, according to new government data. (drugfree.org, USA, November 2021)


USA. Mehr als 100.000 Drogentote in USA in zwölf Monaten der Pandemie

Washington – In den USA hat die Zahl der Drogentoten während der Coronapandemie vorläufigen Daten zufolge einen traurigen Rekord erreicht. Die US-Gesundheitsbehörde CDC veröffentlichte gestern erste Zahlen zu den Drogentoten innerhalb von zwölf Monaten bis April 2021. (aerzteblatt.de, 18.11.2021)


USA. San Francisco's new rapid response teams race to save lives as ODs dramatically rise

(…) "This gentleman thought that he was doing meth," the veteran San Francisco Fire Department paramedic says. "And turned out he was actually doing fentanyl as well," the synthetic opioid many times more powerful than heroin. (npr – National Public Radio, USA, 03.11.2021)


USA. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Overdose Prevention Strategy


What Your Death Certificate Says About You May Be Wrong: A Narrative Review on CDC's Efforts to Quantify Prescription Opioid Overdose Deaths. 

Peppin JF, Coleman JJ, Paladini A, Varrassi G. 

Cureus. 2021 Sep 16;13(9):e18012. doi: 10.7759/cureus.18012. PMID: 34667687; PMCID: PMC8516321.


Treatment of overdose in the synthetic opioid era. 

Skolnick P. 

Pharmacol Ther. 2021 Oct 9:108019. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2021.108019. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34637841.


Prior use of medications for opioid use disorder in ED patients with opioid overdose: prevalence, misuse and overdose severity. 

Shastry S, Nobel I, Allen LR, Richardson LD, Vidal K, Manini AF. 

Am J Emerg Med. 2021 Oct 12;51:114-118. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2021.10.012. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34735968.



Implementation of peer recovery coach services for opioid overdose patients in emergency departments in Indiana: findings from an informal learning collaborative of stakeholders. 

Staton MD, Watson DP, Thorpe D. 

Transl Behav Med. 2021 Oct 23;11(10):1803-1813. doi: 10.1093/tbm/ibab031. PMID: 33864467; PMCID: PMC8083274.


Designing and validating a Markov model for hospital-based addiction consult service impact on 12-month drug and non-drug related mortality. 

King CA, Englander H, Korthuis PT, Barocas JA, McConnell KJ, Morris CD, et al. (2021) 

PLoS ONE 16(9): e0256793. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0256793


Fatal overdoses after release from prison in British Columbia: a retrospective data linkage study. 

Kinner SA, Gan W, Slaunwhite A. 

CMAJ Open. 2021 Sep 28;9(3):E907-E914. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20200243. PMID: 34584005; PMCID: PMC8486467.


Toxicological and pharmacologic sex differences in unintentional or undetermined opioid overdose death. 

Wightman RS, Perrone J, Scagos R, Hallowell BD, Krieger M, Li Y, McGregor AJ, Nelson LS, Marshall BDL. 

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2021 Oct 1;227:108994. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108994. Epub 2021 Aug 28. PMID: 34482038; PMCID: PMC8464519.


Temporal changes in non-fatal opioid overdose patterns among people who use drugs in a Canadian setting. 

Fairgrieve C, Nosova E, Milloy MJ, Fairbairn N, DeBeck K, Ahamad K, Wood E, Kerr T, Hayashi K. 

Subst Abus. 2020;41(3):323-330. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2019.1677280. Epub 2020 Apr 29. PMID: 32348197; PMCID: PMC7377957.


Fatal opioid overdoses during and shortly after hospital admissions in England: A case-crossover study. 

Lewer D, Eastwood B, White M, Brothers TD, McCusker M, Copeland C, et al. (2021) 

PLoS Med 18(10): e1003759. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003759


USA. 2021 OVERDOSE EPIDEMIC REPORT: Physicians’ actions to help end the nation’s drug-related overdose and death epidemic —and what still needs to be done.

The American Medical Association convened two task forces between 2014–2019 that have provided actionable and measurable recommendations and principles for physicians, state and federal policymakers, and other stakeholders to combat the nation’s drug overdose and death epidemic. In response, there has been measurable progress by physicians and others across multiple areas and policy changes led by medical society advocacy. Yet, the nation’s drug-related overdose and death epidemic has changed and worsened. As a result, the AMA has united the two task forces to launch a new, collective effort to directly address this changing epidemic: AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force. (AMA – American Medical Association - END-OVERDOSE-EPIDEMIC.ORG, USA, 21.092021)


USA. Methamphetamine-involved overdose deaths nearly tripled between 2015 to 2019, NIH study finds

Patterns of methamphetamine use have become riskier, diversified across U.S. population. (NIH – National Institute of Health, USA, 22.09.2021)


USA. Deaths with drugs as contributing factor are rising dramatically

While many people focus on the role of drugs in overdose deaths, a recent study shows that deaths where drugs were a contributing cause are also on the rise. 

In fact, at the same time deaths from many causes are showing a decline in the United States, the proportion of them that involve drugs is often increasing dramatically.

The death rate from accidents and suicides in which drugs played a contributing role increased fivefold between 1999 and 2019, the study found. The death rate from diseases and medical conditions in which drugs played a role increased 2.5 times in that same period. (MedicalXpress, USA, 22.09.2021)


Notes from the Field: Xylazine Detection and Involvement in Drug Overdose Deaths — United States, 2019. 

Kariisa M, Patel P, Smith H, Bitting J. 

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:1300–1302. DOI: doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7037a4


Neurocognitive impairments and brain abnormalities resulting from opioid-related overdoses: A systematic review. 

Winstanley EL, Mahoney JJ 3rd, Castillo F, Comer SD. 

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2021 Sep 1;226:108838. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108838. Epub 2021 Jun 24. PMID: 34271512.