Kevin Lin reports:
As fatal overdoses once again rise — accounting for 92,183 deaths in 2020, a 30% increase from the year before — public health researchers are racing to develop better tools to prevent them.
… the treatment of opioid use disorder and the stigma still surrounding the condition — shape what data can be collected and how it can be shared. To protect patient privacy, for example, federal regulations stipulate that certain substance use disorder treatment records be kept separate from a patient’s other health care records.
“Because there’s so much stigma … we need a lot of protection around the privacy of people who have substance use disorders,” he said. “But then the other consequence of that is it hides the problem; it makes it impossible to study.”
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