We close out 2013 with an impressive 25 papers in the final two months for a total count of 89 papers. Some interesting new approaches and perspectives, including a paper on the underappreciated role of adulterants, a couple of naltrexone papers, and lots of lay naloxone.
1) The Whole Is Just the Sum of Its Parts: Limited Polydrug Use Among the "Big Three" Expensive Drugs in the United States.
Caulkins JP, Everingham S, Kilmer B, Midgette G.
Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2013 Dec 5. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: Somewhat surprising data suggesting relatively separate markets for heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
2) A systematic review and meta-analysis of naltrexone implants for the treatment of opioid dependence.
Larney S, Gowing L, Mattick RP, Farrell M, Hall W, Degenhardt L.
Drug Alcohol Rev. 2013 Dec 3. doi: 10.1111/dar.12095. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: A systematic review concluding that the data for naltrexone implants for opioid dependence are insufficient for use outside of clinical trials.
3) Trends and Regional Variation in Opioid Overdose Mortality Among Veterans Health Administration Patients, Fiscal Year 2001 to 2009.
Bohnert AS, Ilgen MA, Trafton JA, Kerns RD, Eisenberg A, Ganoczy D, Blow FC.
Clin J Pain. 2013 Nov 25. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: What happened with opioid analgesic overdose deaths in the United States also happened in among veterans receiving care in the Veterans’ Administration.
Coffin P, Banta-Green C.
Ann Intern Med. 2013 Dec 10. doi: 10.7326/M13-2781. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available.
Comments: Commentary on the reliance on opioids and minimizing the potential harms of stewardship efforts.