Did abuse of non-prescription fentanyl increase or decrease during the first 2 months of the COVID pandemic shutdown compared to earlier in 2020 and in 2019?
According to an analysis of Quest Diagnostics data, non-prescription fentanyl abuse increased by 35% during the time period of March 15 to May 16, 2020 (P<0.01). Among males, the percentage of those positive for opioid use increased from 5.7% to 8.6%, while the rate for females increased from 3.2% to 3.7%. The positivity rate increased for all age groups. Of note, there was an increase from 10.2% to 13.4% for the 18 to 24 years old, age group.