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The Opioid Hydra: Understanding Mortality Epidemics and Syndemics Across the Rural-Urban Continuum

Class Details

Deaths from opioid-use disorders (OUDs) have become a major drug issue in the United States. OUD deaths have risen by 430 percent since 1999; and today nearly 70 percent of drug overdose deaths involve opioids (CDC 2018). However, mortality has increased at a much faster pace in rural versus urban areas, increasing by 185 percent in large central metro areas, 693 percent in micropolitans, and 725 percent in noncore/rural areas (CDC 2017). Further, the crisis is in constant flux as the type of opioids have changed. The so-called first wave included prescription opioids starting in the late 1990s, followed by heroin second wave in 2010, and the current third wave that include synthetic opioids and mixes of all three drugs. Our analysis seeks to identify OUD mortality clusters by type of drug at the county level; and to describe the socioeconomic and spatial correlates of these clusters. Using restricted mortality data from NCHS-CDC from 1999 to 2016 for counties in the contiguous U.S., we employ latent profile analysis to class counties into unique OUD mixtures using Bayes posterior probabilities. We then model membership in these classes using multinomial logistic regression with socioeconomic correlates taken from secondary data sources. We identify several epidemic clusters (prescription opioids, heroin, and emerging heroin) and two syndemic clusters involving multiple opioids. Regression analysis suggests certain classes are driven by four trajectories: the rural left behind, polarized large cities, declining micropolitans, and suburban drug use.

This session will be presented by Dr. David J. Peters, Ph.D. Dr. Peters has research, teaching, and extension appointments at Iowa State University. His primary research areas include social and economic change in rural communities, rural demography, rural poverty and inequality, rural crime, and adoption of agricultural and other technologies. Dr. Peters has published in top-tier journals in rural sociology, agricultural economics, and criminology. He has been awarded grants from the National Science Foundation (SCC and NRT), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (AFRI), and the National Institute of Justice.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Region/Office: National
May 14, 2019
12:00PM - 1:00PM CT

Class Overview

KernelOfKnowledge_0.pngThe Kernel of Knowledge is an expert-speaker webinar series from the Greater Midwest Region which provides one-hour sessions on topics of interest to Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) members throughout the year. Sessions are scheduled on an ongoing basis, check back often for upcoming presentations! All Kernel of Knowledge sessions are eligible for 1.0 contact hour of Medical Library Association continuing education credit.

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