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We examine if the shift to the illicit market after the reformulation of OxyContin in the U.S. in 2010 also led to a rise in polysubstance overdose deaths involving non-opioid prescription drugs, including gabapentinoids and “Z-drugs” and, separately, benzodiazepines.
Exposure to reformulation predicted growth in overdose deaths involving gabapentinoids and Z-drugs. There is less evidence that it predicted growth in overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines. However, for all substances, there is strong evidence that pre-reformulation OxyContin misuse rates predicted post-reformulation growth in overdose deaths concurrently involving synthetic opioids.