Correlates of extramedical use of OxyContin® versus other analgesic opioids among the US general population

Silvia S. Martins, Carla L. Storr, Hong Zhu, Howard D. Chilcoat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There has been substantial public and media attention regarding extramedical use of OxyContin®, but few studies focus on the characteristics of extramedical OxyContin® users and whether they differ from extramedical other opioid users. Methods: We used data from 8218 respondents who were past-year extramedical opioid analgesic users in the 2005 and 2006 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). We investigated differences in socio-demographic and psychiatric characteristics associated with past-year extramedical OxyContin® use (n = 1144) versus extramedical other opioid analgesics use (n = 7074). Data on opioid sources was compared among past-month users. We also compared extramedical opioid users (n = 8218) versus other drug users (n = 16,214), and individuals with an analgesic disorder who had past-year extramedical OxyContin® use (n = 339) versus those with other opioid use (n = 820). Results: Past-year opioid users were more likely than users of other illegal drugs to be more educated and have a past-year major depressive episode. Past-year OxyContin® users were more likely than other opioid users to be 18-25 years old (aOR = 1.9[1.1,3.2]), and have mental health and deviant behavior problems. Those with past-year analgesic disorder who used OxyContin® were more likely to be younger, sell illegal drugs (aOR = 2.5[1.5,4.2]), and use illegal drugs than those who used other opioids. Past-month OxyContin® users were more likely than past-month other opioid users to buy analgesics from drug dealers/other strangers and obtain opioid analgesics from multiple sources. Conclusion: Our findings point out differences between OxyContin® and other opioid users that might help prevention specialists and assist efforts to curb opioid analgesics diversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Mental health
  • Opioid use disorders
  • OxyContin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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