COVID-19 impact on opioid overdose after jail release in Massachusetts


Release from incarceration is a high-risk period for opioid overdose. Concern about COVID-19 spread in jails led to early releases; it is unknown whether pandemic era releases of persons with opioid use disorder (OUD) contributed to increases in community overdose rates.

Observational data compared overdose rates three months after release among jailed persons with OUD released before (9/1/2019-3/9/2020) and during the pandemic (3/10/2020-8/10/2020) from seven jails in Massachusetts. Data on overdoses come from the Massachusetts Ambulance Trip Record Information System and Registry of Vital Records Death Certificate file. Other information came from jail administrative data. Logistic models regressed overdose on release period, controlling for MOUD received, county of release, race/ethnicity, sex, age, and prior overdose.

Publication Year: 2023

Lead Author: Peter Friedmann

Journal: DAD Reports