Opioid usage trends in treatment – Trends from the field

Jeri Wheeler, Siobhan Morse, Brian Bride


Objective: As legislative changes limiting access to prescription opioids were enacted, the population of opioid use disorder patients seeking private residential treatment also changed. This study is designed to examine some of the specific changes that were observed between opioid used disorder patients entering treatment before and after the legislative restrictions were enacted.

Study design: Retrospective cross-sectional cohort design.

Results: Significant changes from Group 1 (patients presenting for treatment in 2009-2011) to Group 2 (patients presenting for treatment in 2014) include a substantial decrease in the usage of prescription opiates. Alongside this reduction, a significant increase was shown in reported heroin abuse with concurrent polysubstance abuse (Cannabis, Amphetamines, and Sedatives), as well as noted employment and family issues.

Conclusions: The identified patient presenting to treatment for Opioid Use Disorder has changed over the last several years and treatment should reflect those changes. Not only has this disease become one of opioid usage but of polysubstance abuse and disruption in other areas of life as heroin usage becomes more prominent in patients.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijh.v5n1p29


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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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