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Overdosing in a Motor Vehicle: Examination of Human, Geographic, and Environmental Factors.

Nursing Research 2024 Februrary 7
BACKGROUND: Fentanyl, a type of opioid, in impaired driving cases increased across cities in the United States.

OBJECTIVES: No empirical studies have examined motor vehicle overdoses with fentanyl use. We investigated the magnitude of the motor vehicle overdose problem in Providence, RI, and the environmental, socioeconomic, and geographic conditions associated with motor vehicle overdose occurrence.

METHODS: This was a retrospective observational study of emergency medical services data on all suspected opioid overdoses between January 1, 2017, and October 31, 2020. The data contain forced-choice fields, such as age and biological sex, and an open-ended narrative in which the paramedic documented clinical and situational information. The overdoses were geocoded, allowing for the extraction of sociodemographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Seven other data sources were included in a logistic regression to understand key risk factors and spatial patterns of motor vehicle overdoses.

RESULTS: Of the 1,357 opioid overdose cases in this analysis, 15.2% were defined as motor vehicle overdoses. In adjusted models, we found a 61% increase in the odds of a motor vehicle overdose involvement for men versus women, a 16.8% decrease in the odds of a motor vehicle overdose for a one-unit increase in distance to the nearest gas station, and a 10.7% decrease in the odds of a motor vehicle overdose for a one-unit increase in distance to a buprenorphine clinic.

CONCLUSION: There is a need to understand the interaction between drug use in vehicles to design interventions for decreasing driving after illicit drug use.

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