A reassessment of trends in the medical use and abuse of opioid analgesics and implications for diversion control: 1997-2002

Aaron M Gilson, Karen M Ryan, David E Joranson, June L Dahl
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2004, 28 (2): 176-88
This study updates a previous analysis of trends in medical use and abuse of opioid analgesics, and provides data from 1997 through 2002. Two research questions were evaluated: 1) What are the trends in the medical use and abuse of frequently prescribed opioid analgesics used to treat severe pain, including fentanyl, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine, and oxycodone? 2) What is the abuse trend for opioid analgesics as a class compared to trends in the abuse of other drug classes? Results demonstrated marked increases in medical use and abuse of four of the five studied opioid analgesics. In 2002, opioid analgesics accounted for 9.85% of all drug abuse, up from 5.75% in 1997. Increase in medical use of opioids is a general indicator of progress in providing pain relief. Increases in abuse of opioids is a growing public health problem and should be addressed by identifying the causes and sources of diversion, without interfering with legitimate medical practice and patient care.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"