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Thursday, August 10, 2023

Opioid Abuse and Deaths of Despir

National Institute on Drug Abuse:

In 2021, an estimated 2.5 million people aged 18 years or older in the U.S. had opioid use disorder in the past year, yet only 1 in 5 of them (22%) received medications to treat it, according to a new study Some groups were substantially less likely to receive medication for opioid use disorder, including Black adults, women, those who were unemployed, and those in nonmetropolitan areas.

 Chun-Tung Kuo, and Ichiro Kawachi at JAMA Network: "County-Level Income Inequality, Social Mobility, and Deaths of Despair in the US, 2000-2019."

Question  Is the interaction between income inequality and social mobility associated with an increased risk of deaths of despair (deaths from suicide, drug overdose, and alcoholic liver disease) among the working-age population in the US?

Findings  In this cross-sectional study, higher income inequality and lower social mobility were associated with a higher burden of deaths of despair for Black, Hispanic, and White populations. In addition, the joint exposure of unequal income distribution and lack of social mobility was associated with additional risks of deaths of despair on both the additive and multiplicative scales.

Meaning  The findings of this study suggest that policy responses to the epidemic of deaths of despair must address the underlying social and economic conditions associated with these deaths.