Article: Reasons for Opioid Use Among Patients with Dependence on Prescription Opioids: The Role of Chronic Pain

Reasons for Opioid Use Among Patients with Dependence on Prescription Opioids: The Role of Chronic Pain

(Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment)

Roger D. Weiss, M.D., Jennifer Sharpe Potter, Ph.D., M.P.H.,  Margaret L. Griffin, Ph.D.,  R. Kathryn McHugh, Ph.D.,  Deborah Haller, Ph.D.,  Petra Jacobs, M.D.,  John Gardin II, Ph.D., Dan Fischer, M.S.,   Kristen D. Rosen, M.P.H.

Abstract 

The number of individuals seeking treatment for prescription opioid use disorder has increased dramatically, fostering a need for research on this population. The aim of this study was to examine reasons for prescription opioid use among 653 participants with and without chronic pain, enrolled in the Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study, a randomized controlled trial of treatment for prescription opioid use disorder. Participants identified initial and current reasons for opioid use. Participants with chronic pain were more likely to report pain as their primary initial reason for use; avoiding withdrawal was rated as the most important reason for current use in both groups. Participants with chronic pain rated using opioids to cope with physical pain as more important, and using opioids in response to social interactions and craving as less important, than those without chronic pain. Results highlight the importance of physical pain as a reason for opioid use among patients with chronic pain.

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