JAMA Study Co-Authored by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and Millennium Health Uncovers Significant Increase in Drug Use Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – September 23, 2020 – A study co-authored by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Millennium Health published in JAMA highlights a national increase in urine drug test positivity rates during COVID-19 for fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.
The cross-sectional study of urine drug test results from 150,000 patients was conducted to better understand the pandemic’s potential effects on drug use among those with or at risk of substance use disorders. The drug tests were ordered by health care professionals between November 14, 2019, and July 10, 2020, and the analysis found that compared with the period before COVID-19 was declared a national emergency, the population tested during the COVID-19 period were:
- 19% more likely to test positive for cocaine
- 67% more likely to test positive for fentanyl
- 33% more likely to test positive for heroin
- 23% more likely to test positive for methamphetamine
According to the Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D., “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated challenges for millions of Americans with substance use disorders. With frequent reporting of drug testing data from Millennium Health, HHS, along with other federal agencies, can leverage near real-time substance use data to assess emerging trends and enhance programs to better support all who need help.”
“We at Millennium Health care deeply about the well-being of those with substance use disorders and are concerned about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on this population. Sharing data through our Emerging Threat Intelligence Program™ with HHS, as well as other select partners, is Millennium Health‘s way of making a difference in the lives of those affected by substance use,” said Angela G. Huskey, Pharm.D., CPE, Chief Clinical Officer of Millennium Health.
The JAMA article can be accessed HERE.
About Millennium Health
Millennium Health is an accredited specialty laboratory with over a decade of experience delivering timely, accurate, clinically-actionable information through our nationwide medication monitoring and drug testing services. Clinical drug testing is used in various healthcare settings to obtain objective information about patients’ recent use of prescription medications and illicit drugs. Processing hundreds of thousands of specimens each year allows us to provide real-time analytics regarding emerging drug use trends, such as our studies published in JAMA Network Open and our most recent Millennium Health Signals Report™. We also offer evidence-based, guideline-driven pharmacogenetic testing helping clinicians make more informed medication choices.