National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing


Rapid Street Reporting Survey Report: Substances reported in the past 3 months in the San Francisco Bay Area November 12-14, 2021

The NDEWS team has launched the Rapid Street Reporting (RSR) study, with the first weekend visit occurring November 12-14 in San Francisco. Participant's zip codes were from: San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. People were interviewed in public spaces, such as public parks, near bars/restaurants, shopping mall areas, and public transportation stops within San Francisco.
View the full report here or click the image above.

911 EMS responses per 10k population in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 12 months, November 2020 - November 2021

This week’s Briefing presents data from the first RSR visit to detect drug trends. The report here evaluates the data from 911 responses in the same area for the same time period. It is interesting to note that for all 3 substances, rates of 911 EMS responses were highest for San Francisco County and surpassed the rate for California as a whole and for the US as well. This is not too different from the data from the RSR where alcohol was highest followed by stimulants and opioids. (after removing cannabis and others).
View the full report here or click the image above.

Prescription stimulant brand name recognition among a national sample of 10- to 18-year-old youth

In a study from our NDEWS PI, CO-I and NIDA T32 predoc, published in the International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, over 11,000 youth 10 to 18 years of age were shown pictures of eight formulations of prescription stimulants, and asked to identify them by name, dosage, and formulation. Results showed that overall, 27% of youth reported having seen one of the eight stimulants; between 2% and 70% correctly identified name, dose, and formulation. Youths' reports of having seen and correctly identifying medication nearly always increased with age. While 2.8% of youth reported using Adderall® in the past 30 days, only 71.4% correctly identified it. View the full study here.


NPS Discovery Public Alert: Adverse effects linked to next generation opioids reported among patients presenting to emergency departments after suspected opioid overdose

NPS Discovery published a public alert last week on the adverse effects linked to next generation opioids reported in patients presenting to emergency departments after suspected opioid overdose. Read the full report here.


Oregon’s Measure 110: Principles and metrics for effective evaluations

In November 2020, Oregon voters passed Measure 110, also known as the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act of 2020. This measure aims to decriminalize possession of small amounts of all drugs and invest substantially in healthcare, substance use disorder treatment, and harm reduction and social services for people who use drugs. Several jurisdictions across the US are looking to replicate and improve upon Measure 110. To encourage thoughtful policy evaluations, a Measure 110 evaluation working group conducted a series of key informant interviews to gather input on evaluation metrics and methods from epidemiologists and people who use drugs. Read the full report here.


Prescription fill patterns for benzodiazepine and opioid drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic in the US

In a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, prescriptions of benzodiazepines and opioids were analyzed using data aggregated on a weekly basis across 38 states over the January 2019-December 2020 period. Results showed that when comparing the January 27-March 9 period to the March 16-May 24 period in 2020, there was a statistically significant 2.0% increase in the percentage of benzodiazepine dispensations compared to all controlled substances and a significant 1.7% mean decrease in percentage of opioid dispensations compared to all controlled substances. For opioids only, a significant return approaching pre-declaration levels was observed. Read the full study here.

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