Dear AJPM  reader,

According to the CDC, 1 in 6 U.S. adults binge drinks approximately 4 times per month and 10% of persons age 12 years or older in the U.S. have used an illicit drug within the past month. Substance use disorders can lead to multiple negative health outcomes for the individual involved but also for family members and others close to them, including higher occurrence of injury, violence, STI transmission, chronic diseases, addiction, and death. More national prevention efforts are clearly needed to reduce increasing rates of misuse and mitigate the many health consequences associated with substance use disorders. Our August issue features several articles examining opioid misuse and binge drinking, representing the latest research on what is now acknowledged as a growing public health crisis in our country. 

Schoenfeld ER, Leibowitz GS, Wang Y, Chen X, Hou W, Rashidian S, Saltz MM, Saltz JH, Wang F.
  • In Long Island and New York State hospitals, opioid poisoning (OP) visits have increased 2.5- to 2.7-fold since 2010, with higher rates in communities with lower median home values, higher percentages of high school graduates, and younger residents. 

Esser MB, Guy GP, Zhang K, Brewer RD.
  • An analysis of national survey data revealed the prevalence of prescription opioid misuse increases significantly with binge drinking and with binge drinking frequency.

White GE, Mair C, Richardson GA, Courcoulas AP, King WC.
  • This study revealed that the odds of higher weight status increase with lower frequency of alcohol use in men and women and also with higher continued volume in women.