Prescription Opioid Policies Impact on Opioid Overdoses and Related Adverse Effects


The rate of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. increased more than three-fold since 1999, with more than two-thirds of overdose deaths in 2016 related to opioids and opiates. In July, 2016, Maine enacted new opioid prescribing restrictions. One year later, in July 2017, Vermont did the same. These policies in Vermont and Maine put major restrictions on prescription opioid amount and duration.

Our overall objective of this research project was to quantify the impact of opioid prescribing policies on opioid overdoses and related events. Our Specific Aims were

  1. Measure the impact of opioid prescribing policies on hospital utilization (Emergency Department and Inpatient) due to opioid overdose and opioid-related adverse effects      
  1. Identify patient-level clinical predictors of hospital utilization for opioid overdose and related medical events in relation to opioid prescribing policies



The analyses, conclusions, and recommendations from these data are solely those of the researchers, and are not necessarily those of the Green Mountain Care Board

This research was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health for the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research network as a supplement [Award Number U54 GM115516-S1]

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Prescription opioid policies and associations with opioid overdose and related adverse effects
Valerie S Harder, Susan E Varni, Kimberly A Murray, Timothy B Plante, Andrea C Villanti, Daniel L Wolfson, Sanchit Maruti, Kathleen M Fairfield
International Journal of Drug Policy 2021 Jun 6;97:103306. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103306.


Influence of Opioid Prescription Policy on Overdoses and Related Adverse Effects in a Primary Care Population
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