Pain clinics: tighter regulations spur rise in heroin abuse

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Takeaway
  • Enactment of state laws in Kentucky tightening pain clinic regulation and monitoring of opioid prescriptions led to less prescription opioid abuse and more heroin abuse.
Why this matters
  • Tighter regulation of prescription opioids has unintended consequences for the opioid epidemic.
Study design
  • This was a secondary analysis of drug treatment clients (n=52,360) in Kentucky to determine self-reported illicit drug use trends (2010-2013) and to make projections through 2018.
  • Funding: Source not disclosed.
Key results
  • From 2010 to 2013, there were significant reductions in prescri...