Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

A recent history of opioid use in the US: Three decades of change.

Dayer LE, Painter JT, McCain K, King J, Cullen J, Foster HR. A recent history of opioid use in the US: Three decades of change. Substance use & misuse. 2018 Dec 21; 54(2):331-339.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: The opioid epidemic in the United States is a problem that has developed over decades. While clinical, regulatory, and legislative changes have been implemented to combat this issue, changes will not be immediate. Moreover, the changes that have been carried out may have unintended negative consequences such as increased use of illicit opioids (e.g., heroin and synthetics) and challenges in effective and appropriate pain management. OBJECTIVES: This review focuses on the last three decades and presents key changes the United States has seen in the use of opioids. Conclusions/Importance: There have been numerous policy changes and programs aimed at decreasing opioid use and abuse in the United States; however, it will take a major shift in the mindset of clinicians, the general public, and policy makers to alleviate this epidemic.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.