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AHRQ Stats: Opioid Use by Economic Characteristics

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In 2018-2019, non-elderly adults who had family incomes below the federal poverty line (13.3 percent), lived in rural areas (12.4 percent), or were covered by public insurance due to a disability (30.3 percent) were more likely than others to have at least one opioid prescription filled during the year.

This AHRQ Statistical Brief – STATISTICAL BRIEF #542: Any Use and “Frequent Use” of Opioids among Non-Elderly Adults in 2018-2019, by Socioeconomic Characteristics – presents estimates of fills of prescriptions for opioid medications that are commonly used to treat pain obtained from the 2018-2019 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS-HC). These estimates are an update of the 2015-2016 estimates presented in the previous Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Statistical Brief #516. The estimates only include prescriptions purchased or obtained in an outpatient setting. Prescription medicines administered in an inpatient setting or in a clinic or physician’s office are not included.

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