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Racial/ethnic Variations in Prescription Opioid Misuse and Heroin Use Amongst a Nationwide Pattern, 1999–2018


To characterize racial/ethnic variations in past-year prescription opioid misuse and heroin use.


Information on 1,117,086 people age 12 and older have been from the 1999–2018 Nationwide Survey on Drug Use and Well being. We in contrast relative prevalences throughout 6 racial/ethnic teams for prescription opioid misuse analyses and four racial/ethnic teams for heroin analyses. Unadjusted and gender- and age-adjusted prevalences are reported for five time durations (1999–2002, 2003–2006, 2007–2010, 2011–2014, 2015–2018). Survey-weighted Poisson regression fashions with strong variance have been used to estimate danger ratios by race/ethnicity and to check for time tendencies.


Prescription opioid misuse was considerably greater amongst non-Hispanic White people than amongst Black, Hispanic, and Asian people throughout all time durations, but was highest amongst Native American people in each time interval. The relative distinction between White and each Hispanic and Asian people considerably widened over time, whereas the hole between Black and White people considerably decreased. Early within the examine interval, heroin use was highest amongst Black and Hispanic people. Heroin use amongst White people first surpassed all different teams in 2007–2010 and continued to steadily enhance, greater than doubling from 1999–2002 to 2015–2018.


Whereas heroin use has risen amongst all racial/ethnic teams, the demographics of heroin use have modified considerably up to now twenty years such that prevalence is now highest amongst White people. Opioid prevention and remedy initiatives ought to each learn by the altering demographics of heroin use and search to cut back opioid-related harms and increase remedy entry equitably for all racial/ethnic teams.

This report is a part of the RAND Company exterior publication sequence. Many RAND research are printed in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in industrial books, or as paperwork printed by different organizations.

The RAND Company is a nonprofit establishment that helps enhance coverage and decisionmaking by analysis and evaluation. RAND’s publications don’t essentially replicate the opinions of its analysis purchasers and sponsors.

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