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Prescription opioid related deaths in New York City: a 2 year retrospective analysis prior to the introduction of the New York State I-STOP law.
Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2015 Sep; 11(3):388-94.FS

Abstract

The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented drug epidemic. Illicit use of prescription medicine, predominantly opioids, has become one of the nation's fastest-growing drug problems. We have conducted a retrospective review of prescription opioid fatalities in New York City (NYC) prior to the introduction of a 2013 law intended to curtail prescription drug abuse. Over the 2 years of our study, there were 1286 chemical intoxication fatalities in NYC. Of these, 547 (42.5%) were associated with prescription opioids (6.5/100,000 population). Methadone was most frequently encountered followed by oxycodone. Only 36.7% of decedents had a valid opioid prescription. Of non-opioid medications associated with the prescription opiate deaths, benzodiazepines were the most frequently encountered (68.4%), and alprazolam (35.1%) was most common. Though prescribers have no control over drug diversion they should be cognizant of the urgent public health concern regarding prescription opioid abuse and associated fatalities and attempt to identify doctor shoppers and limit prescription of these potent drugs to those with a legitimate need for pain control. They also need to be aware of the high incidence of fatalities due to combined opioid and benzodiazepine use/abuse and refrain from prescribing them in tandem.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York, 520 First Ave, New York, NY, 10016, USA.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26233936

Citation

Sgarlato, Anthony, and Stephen J. deRoux. "Prescription Opioid Related Deaths in New York City: a 2 Year Retrospective Analysis Prior to the Introduction of the New York State I-STOP Law." Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, vol. 11, no. 3, 2015, pp. 388-94.
Sgarlato A, deRoux SJ. Prescription opioid related deaths in New York City: a 2 year retrospective analysis prior to the introduction of the New York State I-STOP law. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2015;11(3):388-94.
Sgarlato, A., & deRoux, S. J. (2015). Prescription opioid related deaths in New York City: a 2 year retrospective analysis prior to the introduction of the New York State I-STOP law. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, 11(3), 388-94. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12024-015-9699-z
Sgarlato A, deRoux SJ. Prescription Opioid Related Deaths in New York City: a 2 Year Retrospective Analysis Prior to the Introduction of the New York State I-STOP Law. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2015;11(3):388-94. PubMed PMID: 26233936.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Prescription opioid related deaths in New York City: a 2 year retrospective analysis prior to the introduction of the New York State I-STOP law. AU - Sgarlato,Anthony, AU - deRoux,Stephen J, Y1 - 2015/08/02/ PY - 2015/07/11/accepted PY - 2015/8/3/entrez PY - 2015/8/4/pubmed PY - 2016/4/27/medline SP - 388 EP - 94 JF - Forensic science, medicine, and pathology JO - Forensic Sci Med Pathol VL - 11 IS - 3 N2 - The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented drug epidemic. Illicit use of prescription medicine, predominantly opioids, has become one of the nation's fastest-growing drug problems. We have conducted a retrospective review of prescription opioid fatalities in New York City (NYC) prior to the introduction of a 2013 law intended to curtail prescription drug abuse. Over the 2 years of our study, there were 1286 chemical intoxication fatalities in NYC. Of these, 547 (42.5%) were associated with prescription opioids (6.5/100,000 population). Methadone was most frequently encountered followed by oxycodone. Only 36.7% of decedents had a valid opioid prescription. Of non-opioid medications associated with the prescription opiate deaths, benzodiazepines were the most frequently encountered (68.4%), and alprazolam (35.1%) was most common. Though prescribers have no control over drug diversion they should be cognizant of the urgent public health concern regarding prescription opioid abuse and associated fatalities and attempt to identify doctor shoppers and limit prescription of these potent drugs to those with a legitimate need for pain control. They also need to be aware of the high incidence of fatalities due to combined opioid and benzodiazepine use/abuse and refrain from prescribing them in tandem. SN - 1556-2891 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26233936/Prescription_opioid_related_deaths_in_New_York_City:_a_2_year_retrospective_analysis_prior_to_the_introduction_of_the_New_York_State_I_STOP_law_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12024-015-9699-z DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -