Little is known about the extent to which the prevalence of opioid-related problems (ORPs) varies among U.S. adolescents and young adults across geographic regions and over time, information that can help to guide policies that aim to curb the opioid epidemic. A retrospective, cross-sectional design was used to analyze longitudinal claims data from privately insured individuals aged 12–64 years who had an outpatient or inpatient diagnosis of an ORP in the years 2005–2018. The prevalence of opioid-related problem diagnoses (per 10,000) varied considerably across census divisions, both over time and between age groups. Knowledge of the origin of and variation in diagnosed opioid-related problems in terms of age group and census division is important so that interventions and policies can be more targeted and effective.
The full study is available in Preventative Medicine.