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The Effect of Veteran Status and Chronic Pain on Past 30-Day Sedative Use Among Community-Dwelling Adult Males.

INTRODUCTION: Given the high sedative prescription rate, the sedative-associated morbidity, and mortality nationally (especially among veterans), we aimed to test the hypothesis that veteran status in the presence of chronic pain would be associated with greater sedative use when compared with nonveteran status.

METHODS: The study participants were recruited by Community Health Workers (CHWs) through the ongoing community engagement program (HealthStreet) at the University of Florida. CHWs collected information on sociodemographic factors, health status, and past 30-day drug use patterns.

RESULTS: The study sample comprised 4,732 male participants, of which 21% were veterans, 58% were Blacks and 8.4% had used prescription sedatives in the past 30 days. Veterans (vs nonveterans) were twice as likely to have used prescription sedatives in the past 30 days in the presence of chronic pain.

CONCLUSIONS: Veterans with chronic pain are a high-risk population for current prescription sedative use.

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