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The source of methadone in overdose deaths in Western Virginia in 2004.
J Addict Med. 2011 Sep; 5(3):188-202.JA

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Methadone-related overdose deaths increased in the United States by 468% from 1999 to 2005. Current studies associate the nonmedical use of methadone with methadone-related deaths. This study describes medical examiner cases in rural Virginia in 2004 with methadone identified by toxicology and compares cases according to source of methadone.

METHODS

In 2004, all intentional and unintentional poisoning deaths from the Office of The Chief Medical Examiner, Western District of Virginia, were reviewed to identify cases in which methadone was a direct or contributing cause of death. The Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program was reviewed for prescription opioids in the name of these identified decedents. Decedent participation in local opioid treatment programs (OTP) was also assessed.

RESULTS

The source of methadone in the 61 methadone-related overdose deaths was mostly nonprescribed (67%), although 28% of decedents were prescribed methadone for analgesia. Only 5% of decedents were actively enrolled in an OTP. The majority of deaths were attributed to polysubstance overdose.

CONCLUSIONS

The majority of methadone overdose deaths in this study were related to illicit methadone use, rather than prescribed or OTP uses. Interventions to decrease methadone-related deaths should focus on reduction of nonprescription use of methadone.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA. weimerm@ohsu.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21844834

Citation

Weimer, Melissa B., et al. "The Source of Methadone in Overdose Deaths in Western Virginia in 2004." Journal of Addiction Medicine, vol. 5, no. 3, 2011, pp. 188-202.
Weimer MB, Korthuis PT, Behonick GS, et al. The source of methadone in overdose deaths in Western Virginia in 2004. J Addict Med. 2011;5(3):188-202.
Weimer, M. B., Korthuis, P. T., Behonick, G. S., & Wunsch, M. J. (2011). The source of methadone in overdose deaths in Western Virginia in 2004. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 5(3), 188-202. https://doi.org/10.1097/ADM.0b013e318211c56a
Weimer MB, et al. The Source of Methadone in Overdose Deaths in Western Virginia in 2004. J Addict Med. 2011;5(3):188-202. PubMed PMID: 21844834.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The source of methadone in overdose deaths in Western Virginia in 2004. AU - Weimer,Melissa B, AU - Korthuis,P Todd, AU - Behonick,George S, AU - Wunsch,Martha J, PY - 2011/8/17/entrez PY - 2011/8/17/pubmed PY - 2011/11/4/medline SP - 188 EP - 202 JF - Journal of addiction medicine JO - J Addict Med VL - 5 IS - 3 N2 - OBJECTIVES: Methadone-related overdose deaths increased in the United States by 468% from 1999 to 2005. Current studies associate the nonmedical use of methadone with methadone-related deaths. This study describes medical examiner cases in rural Virginia in 2004 with methadone identified by toxicology and compares cases according to source of methadone. METHODS: In 2004, all intentional and unintentional poisoning deaths from the Office of The Chief Medical Examiner, Western District of Virginia, were reviewed to identify cases in which methadone was a direct or contributing cause of death. The Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program was reviewed for prescription opioids in the name of these identified decedents. Decedent participation in local opioid treatment programs (OTP) was also assessed. RESULTS: The source of methadone in the 61 methadone-related overdose deaths was mostly nonprescribed (67%), although 28% of decedents were prescribed methadone for analgesia. Only 5% of decedents were actively enrolled in an OTP. The majority of deaths were attributed to polysubstance overdose. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of methadone overdose deaths in this study were related to illicit methadone use, rather than prescribed or OTP uses. Interventions to decrease methadone-related deaths should focus on reduction of nonprescription use of methadone. SN - 1932-0620 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21844834/The_source_of_methadone_in_overdose_deaths_in_Western_Virginia_in_2004_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1097/ADM.0b013e318211c56a DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -