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Use of Opioid Overdose Deaths Reported in One States Criminal Justice, Hospital, and Prescription Databases to Identify Risk of Opioid Fatalities.

NCJ Number
JAMA Internal Medicine Volume: 179 Issue: 7 Dated: 2019 Pages: 980-982
Matthew D. Eisenberg; Brendon Saloner; Nia Krawazyk
Date Published
3 pages
This article describes an effort in Maryland to link prescription drug monitoring program data with other large databases to provide insight into how different service systems could have reached many individuals who fatally overdosed on opioids and how risk rates for each subgroup compared with statewide means.
The United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic, with 45,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2017, most involving fentanyl and heroin. The President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis recommends data integration between state-based prescription drug monitoring programs and other systems to identify individuals who are at an elevated risk of overdose. The current study identified Maryland residents with at least one record in 2015-2016 in any of the following three state-level data sets: 1) opioid prescriptions in the prescription drug monitoring program data 2) inpatient hospitalization or emergency department visits in the Health Services Cost Review Commission data or 3)at least one record for an adjudicated arrest, incarceration, or community supervision record (parole or probation) related to a property or drug offense in the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services data.These data were linked with opioid overdose death records (intentional and unintentional) from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner 2,902), which could be separated into deaths involving heroin fentanyl ), and/or prescription opioids (numbers do not sum to 2,902, as multiple types of opioids could be involved in a death). Data were linked and de-identified through a health information exchange that maintains a sharing agreement with the Maryland Department of Health by using a validated algorithm. institutional review boards at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Maryland Department of Health. The project described the proportion of individuals with a fatal opioid overdose who previously appeared in one or more of the above-described data sets. In addition, the project compared the overdose death rate across each combination of data sources. (publisher abstract modified)