US ED Opioid-Related Visits Increase, While Use of Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Undetectable, 2011–2016

  • Siri ShastryEmail author
  • Alex F. Manini
  • Lynne D. Richardson
  • Michelle P. Lin
Concise Research Report


Opioid use disorder (OUD) and the opioid epidemic have been declared a national emergency in the USA with nearly 400,000 deaths from 1999 to 2016.1 Emergency Departments (EDs) often serve as the first point of contact for patients with OUD with ED visits for overdose increasing by over 30% from 2016 to 2017.2 ED initiation of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD), specifically buprenorphine, with linkage to outpatient follow-up, is known to increase engagement with outpatient addiction treatment and reduce self-reported illicit opioid use.2, 3

However, trends in ED MOUD utilization since 2011 are unknown.4 Given the emergence of evidence supporting ED-initiated buprenorphine induction since 2015,2, 3 an updated examination is needed to better understand current practice patterns.


We performed a retrospective analysis to describe trends in ED buprenorphine administration or prescription among opioid-related ED visits using the 2011–2016 National Hospital...



The authors wish to thank Dr. Ethan A. Cowan, MD, MS (Department of Emergency Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY) for his involvement in the revision of this manuscript.


Dr. Shastry is supported by an institutional training grant, 1T32 HL129974-01 (PI: Richardson), from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Author Contributions

Dr. Shastry and Dr. Lin had full access to all of the study data, which are publically available from the National Center for Health Statistics. Study concept and design: Shastry and Lin. Acquisition of data: Shastry. Analysis and interpretation of data: Shastry and Lin. Drafting of the manuscript: Shastry and Lin. Critical revision of the manuscript: Manini and Richardson. Statistical analysis: Shastry and Lin. Obtained funding: Richardson. Study supervision: Lin, Manini, and Richardson.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.


The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Emergency Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Mount Sinai HospitalNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Division of Medical Toxicology, Department of Emergency Medicine, Icahn School of MedicineElmhurst Hospital CenterNew YorkUSA

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