Today’s podcast will share results of a recent Quest Diagnostics Health Trends™ publication, The Opioid Epidemic Within the COVID-19 Pandemic: Drug Monitoring in 2020, which was published in the October 2020 edition of Population Health Management. The study objective was to better understand the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and the drug epidemic in the US. To achieve this objective, investigators analyzed urine specimen results from an analytic cohort of 872,762 specimens from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Findings demonstrated significant changes in prescription drug monitoring and positivity rates for many drugs of concern. Important study results and conclusions discussed will include:
- Clinical drug testing decreased significantly during the pandemic period
- Nonprescribed positivity for fentanyl, heroin, and other drugs of concern increased significantly
- Many dangerous drug combinations, including combinations with fentanyl, increased significantly
- The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the treatment of patients at risk for substance use disorder
- The role of clinical drug monitoring
This episode features Dr Jeff Gudin, senior medical advisor, Quest Diagnostics Drug Monitoring and Toxicology, and Justin Niles, lead medical informatics analyst for Quest Diagnostics Health Trends™.