Controversy surrounding the use of opioids for the treatment and the unique characteristics of chronic pain heighten the risks for abuse and dependence; however, it's unclear if higher doses of opioids and first exposure are associated with dependence and abuse. This study aimed to identify patients who developed dependence or opioid abuse after exposed to opioids for the first time and what were the risks factors associated with the outcome. A retrospective observational cohort study analyzed 2,411 patients between 2011 and 2017 who had a diagnosis of chronic pain and received opioids for the first time. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the likelihood of opioid dependence/abuse after the first exposure based on their mental health conditions, prior substance abuse disorders, demographics, and the amount of MME per day patients received. From 2,411 patients, 5.5 % of the patients had a diagnosis of dependence or abuse after the first exposure. Patients who were depressed (OR = 2.09), previous non-opioid substance dependence or abuse (OR = 1.59) or received greater than 50 MME per day (OR = 1.03) showed statistically significant relationship with developing opioid dependence or abuse, while age (OR = -1.03) showed to be a protective factor. Further studies should stratify chronic pain patients into groups who is in higher risk in developing opioid dependence or abuse and develop alternative strategies for pain management and treatments beyond opioids. This study reinforces the psychosocial problems as determinants of opioid dependence or abuse and risk factors, and the need for safer opioid prescribing practices.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Nicholas Stalter, Gyorgy Simon and Lisiane Pruinelli were partially funded by the NSF grant #NSF IIS-1602394.
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd
- Chronic Pain
- Opioid Abuse
- Opioid Dependency
- Predictive Modeling
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Observational Study
- Journal Article
- Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.