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The characteristics of a cohort who tamper with prescribed and diverted opioid medications

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Aims

    To describe the methods and baseline characteristics of a cohort of people who tamper with pharmaceutical opioids, formed to examine changes in opioid use following introduction of Reformulated OxyContin®.

    Methods

    Participants were 606 people from three Australian jurisdictions who reported past month injecting, snorting, chewing or smoking of a pharmaceutical opioid and had engaged in these practices at least monthly in the past 6 months. Baseline interviews were conducted prior to introduction of Reformulated OxyContin® in April 2014. Patterns of opioid use and cohort characteristics were examined according to whether participants were prescribed opioid medications, or exclusively used diverted medication.

    Results

    The cohort reported high levels of moderate/severe depression (61%), moderate/severe anxiety (43%), post-traumatic stress disorder (42%), chronic pain or disability (past 6 months, 54%) and pain (past month, 47%). Lifetime use of oxycodone, morphine, opioid substitution medications and codeine were common. Three-quarters (77%) reported ICD-10 lifetime pharmaceutical opioid dependence and 40% current heroin dependence. Thirteen percent reported past year overdose, and 70% reported at least one past month opioid injection-related injury or disease. The cohort displayed complex clinical profiles, but participants currently receiving opioid substitution therapy who were also prescribed other opioids particularly reported a wide range of risk behaviors, despite their health service engagement.

    Conclusions

    Findings highlight the heterogeneity in the patterns and clinical correlates of opioid use among people who tamper with pharmaceutical opioids. Targeted health interventions are essential to reduce the associated harms.

UOW Authors


  •   Larance, Briony
  •   Lintzeris, Nicholas (external author)
  •   Bruno, Raimondo (external author)
  •   Peacock, Amy (external author)
  •   Cama, Elena (external author)
  •   Ali, Robert (external author)
  •   Kihas, Ivana (external author)
  •   Hordern, Antonia (external author)
  •   White, Nancy (external author)
  •   Degenhardt, Louisa (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Larance, B., Lintzeris, N., Bruno, R., Peacock, A., Cama, E., Ali, R., Kihas, I., Hordern, A., White, N. & Degenhardt, L. (2015). The characteristics of a cohort who tamper with prescribed and diverted opioid medications. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 58 51-61.

Number Of Pages


  • 10

Start Page


  • 51

End Page


  • 61

Volume


  • 58

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • Aims

    To describe the methods and baseline characteristics of a cohort of people who tamper with pharmaceutical opioids, formed to examine changes in opioid use following introduction of Reformulated OxyContin®.

    Methods

    Participants were 606 people from three Australian jurisdictions who reported past month injecting, snorting, chewing or smoking of a pharmaceutical opioid and had engaged in these practices at least monthly in the past 6 months. Baseline interviews were conducted prior to introduction of Reformulated OxyContin® in April 2014. Patterns of opioid use and cohort characteristics were examined according to whether participants were prescribed opioid medications, or exclusively used diverted medication.

    Results

    The cohort reported high levels of moderate/severe depression (61%), moderate/severe anxiety (43%), post-traumatic stress disorder (42%), chronic pain or disability (past 6 months, 54%) and pain (past month, 47%). Lifetime use of oxycodone, morphine, opioid substitution medications and codeine were common. Three-quarters (77%) reported ICD-10 lifetime pharmaceutical opioid dependence and 40% current heroin dependence. Thirteen percent reported past year overdose, and 70% reported at least one past month opioid injection-related injury or disease. The cohort displayed complex clinical profiles, but participants currently receiving opioid substitution therapy who were also prescribed other opioids particularly reported a wide range of risk behaviors, despite their health service engagement.

    Conclusions

    Findings highlight the heterogeneity in the patterns and clinical correlates of opioid use among people who tamper with pharmaceutical opioids. Targeted health interventions are essential to reduce the associated harms.

UOW Authors


  •   Larance, Briony
  •   Lintzeris, Nicholas (external author)
  •   Bruno, Raimondo (external author)
  •   Peacock, Amy (external author)
  •   Cama, Elena (external author)
  •   Ali, Robert (external author)
  •   Kihas, Ivana (external author)
  •   Hordern, Antonia (external author)
  •   White, Nancy (external author)
  •   Degenhardt, Louisa (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Larance, B., Lintzeris, N., Bruno, R., Peacock, A., Cama, E., Ali, R., Kihas, I., Hordern, A., White, N. & Degenhardt, L. (2015). The characteristics of a cohort who tamper with prescribed and diverted opioid medications. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 58 51-61.

Number Of Pages


  • 10

Start Page


  • 51

End Page


  • 61

Volume


  • 58

Place Of Publication


  • United States