Opioid-related US hospital discharges by type, 1993–2016
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Opioid-related US hospital discharges by type, 1993–2016

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  • Alternative Title:
    J Subst Abuse Treat
  • Description:
    Objective: To classify and compare US nationwide opioid-related hospital inpatient discharges over time by discharge type: 1) opioid use disorder (OUD) diagnosis without opioid overdose, detoxification, or rehabilitation services, 2) opioid overdose, 3) OUD diagnosis or opioid overdose with detoxification services, and 4) OUD diagnosis or opioid overdose with rehabilitation services. Methods: Survey-weighted national analysis of hospital discharges in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project National Inpatient Sample yielded age-adjusted annual rates per 100,000 population. Annual percentage change (APC) in the rate of opioid-related discharges by type during 1993–2016 was assessed. Results: The annual rate of hospital discharges documenting OUD without opioid overdose, detoxification, or rehabilitation services quadrupled during 1993–2016, and at an increased rate (8% annually) during 2003–2016. The discharge rate for all types of opioid overdose increased an average 5–9% annually during 1993–2010; discharges for non-heroin overdoses declined 2010–2016 (3–12% annually) while heroin overdose discharges increased sharply (23% annually). The rate of discharges including detoxification services among OUD and overdose patients declined (−4% annually) during 2008–2016 and rehabilitation services (e.g., counselling, pharmacotherapy) among those discharges decreased (−2% annually) during 1993–2016. Conclusions: Over the past two decades, the rate of both OUD diagnoses and opioid overdoses increased substantially in US hospitals while rates of inpatient detoxification and rehabilitation services identified by diagnosis codes declined. It is critical that inpatients diagnosed with OUD or treated for opioid overdose are linked effectively to substance use disorder treatment at discharge.
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