Sunday, April 7, 2013

PubMed Update February/March 2013

Another 8 papers on opioid overdose issues.

Kerr T, Small W, Hyshka E, Maher L, Shannon K.
Addiction. 2013 Mar 28. doi: 10.1111/add.12151. [Epub ahead of print]
Comment: Interesting qualitative analysis of warnings issued regarding high-potency heroin. Respondents instead sought out the suspect drug.

Schwartz RP, Gryczynski J, O'Grady KE, Sharfstein JM, Warren G, Olsen Y, Mitchell SG, Jaffe JH.
Am J Public Health. 2013 Mar 14. [Epub ahead of print]
Comment: This analysis failed to consider heroin overdose prevention programming – i.e. naloxone distribution – that was scaled up over the exact same period that buprenorphine treatment expanded and heroin overdoses declined. While not all variables can be considered in the interrupted time series approach, not considering the impact of a naloxone-based “overdose prevention program” seems to be a major flaw in the presentation. Disappointing that this was not rigorously addressed.

Taghaddosinejad F, Arefi M, Fayaz AF, Tanhaeivash R.
J Forensic Leg Med. 2013 Apr;20(3):155-7.
Comment: Interesting exploration of overdose in Iran – opioids still predominate (1782) compared to other drugs (94).

Leece P, Orkin A.
JAMA. 2013 Mar 6;309(9):873-4.
Comment: This reply to Beletsky, et al’s, November 2012 commentary Prevention of fatal opioid overdose is followed by the authors’ response.

Williams AV, Strang J, Marsden J.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Feb 28.
Comment: We are in desperate need of standardized and validated measures for overdose and naloxone distribution. These scales may be useful, although as a word of caution several elements are specific to UK programming.