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Analysis of Substance Use Disorder Treatment Admissions in the US by Sex and Race and Ethnicity Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increases in the number of fatal drug overdoses1 and self-reported substance use disorder (SUD).2 Despite these increases, few studies have examined SUD treatment admissions during the pandemic, with studies focusing on state-specific estimates3 or inferring use through national mobility data.4 To more comprehensively examine the surge in drug overdose deaths, we quantified changes in national SUD treatment before (2017-2019) and during (2020) the COVID-19 pandemic.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Accepted for Publication: July 26, 2022.

Published: September 22, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.32795

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2022 Cantor JH et al. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: Jonathan H. Cantor, PhD, Department of Healthcare Delivery, RAND Corporation, 1776 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (jcantor@rand.org).

Author Contributions: Dr Cantor had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Cantor, Whaley.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.

Drafting of the manuscript: Cantor.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.

Statistical analysis: Cantor, Whaley.

Obtained funding: Powell.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Whaley.

Supervision: Powell.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Whaley reported receiving grants from the National Institute on Aging, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Arnold Ventures during the conduct of the study, personal fees for speaking and consulting from Doximity outside the submitted work. Dr Stein reported receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health during the conduct of the study and grants from the National Institutes of Health and the FORE Foundation outside the submitted work. Dr Powell reported receiving grants from the CDC and the National Institute on Drug Abuse outside the submitted work.

Funding/Support: Support was provided by the CDC (grant R01CE02999, Dr Powell), National Institute on Aging (grant K01AG061274, Dr Whaley), and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (grant 5R01DA045800-04, Dr Stein).

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funding organizations had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Additional Contributions: We thank Aaron Kofner, MA, MSc (RAND Corporation), for analytic support; there was no financial compensation.

References
1.
Friedman  JR , Hansen  H .  Evaluation of increases in drug overdose mortality rates in the US by race and ethnicity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.   JAMA Psychiatry. 2022;79(4):379-381. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.0004 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
Czeisler  MÉ , Lane  RI , Petrosky  E ,  et al.  Mental health, substance use, and suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic - United States, June 24-30, 2020.   MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69(32):1049-1057. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6932a1PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
Mark  TL , Gibbons  B , Barnosky  A , Padwa  H , Joshi  V .  Changes in admissions to specialty addiction treatment facilities in California during the COVID-19 pandemic.   JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(7):e2117029. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.17029 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
Cantor  J , Kravitz  D , Sorbero  M ,  et al.  Trends in visits to substance use disorder treatment facilities in 2020.   J Subst Abuse Treat. 2021;127:108462. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108462 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Quick Statistics. treatment episode data set. 2022. Accessed April 1, 2022. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/quick-statistics-results?qs_type=teds&state=United%20States&year=2020&type=Admissions&view=full
6.
Andraka-Christou  B , Bouskill  K , Haffajee  RL ,  et al.  Common themes in early state policy responses to substance use disorder treatment during COVID-19.   Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2021;47(4):486-496. doi:10.1080/00952990.2021.1903023 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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