Opioid Misuse: What Physicians Think and Lab Tests Show

November 13, 2019
Grace Halsey
Grace Halsey

A novel report on US opioid misuse melds results from a Harris Poll of 500 primary care physicians with Quest Diagnostics data on 4.4 million drug monitoring tests.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2018 a decline in the number of drug overdoses-the first reduction recorded in more than a decade. But new a report published by Quest Diagnostics suggests the danger is not over, pointing to increases in deaths from synthetic opioids, prevalent illicit drug mixing, an uptick in use of stimulants eg, cocaine, among other trends.The report, Drug Misuse in America 2019: Physician Perspectives and Diagnostic Insights on the Evolving Drug Crisis, combines responses from 500 primary care physicians to a survey on use of controlled prescribed medications and illicit drugs with analysis of more than 4.4 million deidentified aggregated clinical drug monitoring tests performed by Quest for patients from all 50 states from 2011-2018.The slides below share highlights of results, offering what the report calls "...insights into the complexity and tenacity of the drug misuse crisis."