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Opioid-related hospitalizations and intravenous drug users: Sociodemographic, spatial, and comorbid associations among hospital inpatients and community-based harm reduction organization participants

Jacklynn De Leon, BS, MPH, Sheniz Moonie, PhD, Jay J. Shen, PhD, Karen S. Gutierrez, BS, Chad L. Cross, PhD, PStat®

Abstract


Objective: To provide an updated analysis of opioid-related injuries in Nevada and provide a first-time analysis of the intravenous drug user (IDU) population within Clark County.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Center for Health Information Analysis (CHIA) database and IDU data from Trac-B Exchange (Trac-B).

Participants: Patients hospitalized for opioid-related causes (n = 9,064) and participants from Trac-B.

Main outcome measure(s): Variables assessed included age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Zip codes were retrieved to find differences in geographical usage patterns of hospital or sterile injection equipment (SEP) sites. Contingency tables were utilized to determine the frequency of comorbidities. Additionally, GIS was used to investigate potential spatial patterns of interest.

Results: Totally 5,268 out of the 9,064 opioid-related cases reported in Nevada were Clark County residents. The highest frequency for comorbidities associated with opioid-related hospitalizations (ORHs) included: infections, chronic bodily pain, and malnutrition. There was a higher proportion of 18-35-year-olds who used SEPs as compared to hospitals and a higher proportion of individuals aged 36 years or older who used hospitals as compared to using SEPs. Of the nearly 100 zip codes in Clark County, six showed a disproportionally high frequency of ORHs, and three comprised the majority of injection drug use.

Conclusions: There is an opioid epidemic in Nevada that has contributed to addiction, heroin usage, injection drug use, and transmission of bloodborne diseases. Understanding the ORHs and intravenous drug use trends can help guide the development of program interventions.


Keywords


opioids, intravenous drug user, HIV/HCV

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jom.2021.0630

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