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Trends of Opioid Usage in Emergency Departments: An Analysis of Opioid Dispensing from 2019 to 2021

NCJ Number
American Journal of Emergency Medicine Volume: 77 Dated: March 2024 Pages: 207-209
Date Published
March 2024

This study analyzes trends of opioid usage in emergency departments from 2019 to 2021.


In this study, researchers assessed annual opioid prescribing rates and trends at Emergency Departments (EDs) within the United States from 2019 to 2021. The opioid crises has been thoroughly researched and forewarned to medical professionals. Nevertheless, the toll of opioid overdoses claimed the lives of 45 individuals daily, resulting in an alarming total of nearly 17,000 fatalities in 2021—nearly 21% of those deaths from prescription opioids. Opioids are frequently prescribed at discharge following emergency department (ED) visits, occurring in about 36 visits per 1000 adults. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted medical appointments, including non-COVID ED visits, increased fatigue and burnout among physicians, which may have led to decreased discretion in opioid prescribing habits. Additionally, the implementation of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) has aimed to restrict the length and quantity of opioids per prescription and have been in use for several years now. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: March 1, 2024