Substance Use

The use or misuse of substances such as alcohol, tobacco, cannabis (marijuana), stimulants, hallucinogens, and opioids.

Dentists Tackle Opioid Epidemic

Apr. 25, 2018

 Last month, the American Dental Association (ADA) announced a new policy on opioid prescription. This is the latest in a series of statements issued by the ADA in response to the prominent role of dentistry in the opioid epidemic.

Opioid Discussion in the Twittersphere

Apr. 25, 2018

Rachel L. Graves, Christopher Tufts, Zachary F. Meisel, Dan Polsky, Lyle Ungar, ...

Abstract [from journal]

Background: The rise in opioid use and overdose has increased the importance of improving data collection methods for the purpose of targeting resources to high-need populations and responding rapidly to emerging trends.

Objective: To determine whether Twitter data could be used to identify geographic differences in opioid-related discussion and whether opioid topics were significantly correlated with opioid overdose death rate.

Methods: We filtered approximately 10 billion tweets for keywords...

Yelp Reviews and Opioids

Apr. 10, 2018

Researchers are discovering that social media offers a window into the lived experience of patients and their caregivers. Using Yelp reviews about US hospitals, our team at Penn’s Center for Health Care Innovation attempted to give voice to these experiences related to pain management and opioids during recent hospital visits.

Physician Time Burden Associated with Querying Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

Apr. 6, 2018

Marcus A Bachhuber, Brendan Saloner, Marc LaRochelle, Jessica S Merlin, Brandon C Maughan, Dan Polsky, Naum Shaparin, Sean M Murphy

Abstract [from journal]

Objective: Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) enable prescribers to review patient prescription histories, and their use is mandatory in many states. We estimated the cost of physicians retrieving PDMP patient reports compared with a model where a delegate (i.e., administrative staff) retrieves reports.
 
Methods: We performed a cost analysis with a one-year time horizon, from the perspective of physicians’ employers. We obtained specialty-specific estimates of...

Infants in Drug Withdrawal: A National Description of Nurse Workload, Infant Acuity, and Parental Needs

Feb. 1, 2018

Jessica G. Smith, Jeannette A. Rogowski, Kathryn M. Schoenauer, ...

In the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, Jessica Smith and colleagues, including Jeannette Rogowski and Eileen Lake, investigate how infants in drug withdrawal compare with nondrug withdrawal infants to inform proper nurse assignments based on infant acuity and parental needs. Though not commonly recognized, a troubling aspect of the opioid epidemic is increased drug use among pregnant women, which has led to an increase in infants who are...

Association between Electronic Medical Record Implementation of Default Opioid Prescription Quantities and Prescribing Behavior in Two Emergency Departments

Research Brief
Kit Delgado, MD, MS
Jan. 30, 2018

Setting a low quantity of opioid tablets as the default option in electronic medical record prescribing orders may “nudge” clinicians to prescribe fewer opioids. When two emergency departments implemented a 10-tablet default instead of a manual entry, the proportion of 10-tablet prescriptions written more than doubled, from 20.6% to 43.3%. Conversely, 20-tablet prescriptions decreased from 22.8% to 16.1%, and prescriptions for 11-19 tablets decreased from 33.5% to 20.1%. 

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