Prescription drug use and misuse in a cohort of people who inject drugs (PWID) in Baltimore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Prescription drug misuse and its consequences (e.g., overdose) are a major public health concern. While national focus has been on opioids, misuse of sedatives/tranquilizers also occurs. Here we describe the use, correlates, and sources of prescription drugs in a community-based cohort of people who inject drugs (PWID). Methods: We included participants of the AIDS Linked to the IntraVenous Experience (ALIVE) study in follow-up in 2014. We defined prescription drug use as use of opioids or sedatives/tranquilizers considering both medical “prescribed by a doctor” and non-medical sources “obtained from the street/friend/relative.” Correlates were evaluated separately for opioids and sedatives/tranquilizers using logistic regression and included socioeconomic factors, health conditions, substance use, and health care access. Results: 823 predominantly African-American (90.6%) and male (66.3%) ALIVE participants with a median age of 55 were included. Prevalence of prescription opioid and sedative/tranquilizer use was 25.3% and 16.3% respectively. While the majority (70%) obtained prescription drugs exclusively through medical sources, the 30% who reported any non-medical source were also more likely to use other substances by injection and non-injection routes. PWID reporting prescription drug use (from medical and non-medical sources) were significantly more likely to report other substance use, mental health disorder, and recent contact with health care providers or detoxification facilities. Conclusions: Prescription drug use was highly prevalent among PWID. While it is difficult to distinguish medically indicated from non-medical use, high levels of prescription drug use in conjunction with other drugs and alcohol heightens the risk for drug overdose and other adverse consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume81
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Fingerprint

Prescription Drug Misuse
Baltimore
Prescription Drugs
Hypnotics and Sedatives
Opioid Analgesics
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Health care
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Drug Overdose
Drug Prescriptions
Health
Detoxification
Mental Disorders
African Americans
Health Personnel
Public health
Prescriptions
Mental Health
Public Health
Logistic Models

Keywords

  • People who inject drugs (PWID)
  • Prescription drug use
  • Substance use
  • The ALIVE study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

@article{64db37d68cf540f4bcbda2957c5d3c39,
title = "Prescription drug use and misuse in a cohort of people who inject drugs (PWID) in Baltimore",
abstract = "Background: Prescription drug misuse and its consequences (e.g., overdose) are a major public health concern. While national focus has been on opioids, misuse of sedatives/tranquilizers also occurs. Here we describe the use, correlates, and sources of prescription drugs in a community-based cohort of people who inject drugs (PWID). Methods: We included participants of the AIDS Linked to the IntraVenous Experience (ALIVE) study in follow-up in 2014. We defined prescription drug use as use of opioids or sedatives/tranquilizers considering both medical “prescribed by a doctor” and non-medical sources “obtained from the street/friend/relative.” Correlates were evaluated separately for opioids and sedatives/tranquilizers using logistic regression and included socioeconomic factors, health conditions, substance use, and health care access. Results: 823 predominantly African-American (90.6{\%}) and male (66.3{\%}) ALIVE participants with a median age of 55 were included. Prevalence of prescription opioid and sedative/tranquilizer use was 25.3{\%} and 16.3{\%} respectively. While the majority (70{\%}) obtained prescription drugs exclusively through medical sources, the 30{\%} who reported any non-medical source were also more likely to use other substances by injection and non-injection routes. PWID reporting prescription drug use (from medical and non-medical sources) were significantly more likely to report other substance use, mental health disorder, and recent contact with health care providers or detoxification facilities. Conclusions: Prescription drug use was highly prevalent among PWID. While it is difficult to distinguish medically indicated from non-medical use, high levels of prescription drug use in conjunction with other drugs and alcohol heightens the risk for drug overdose and other adverse consequences.",
keywords = "People who inject drugs (PWID), Prescription drug use, Substance use, The ALIVE study",
author = "Alexia Anagnostopoulos and Abraham, {Alison Gump} and Becky Genberg and Kirk, {Gregory D} and Mehta, {Shruti Hemendra}",
year = "2018",
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AU - Anagnostopoulos, Alexia

AU - Abraham, Alison Gump

AU - Genberg, Becky

AU - Kirk, Gregory D

AU - Mehta, Shruti Hemendra

PY - 2018/6/1

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N2 - Background: Prescription drug misuse and its consequences (e.g., overdose) are a major public health concern. While national focus has been on opioids, misuse of sedatives/tranquilizers also occurs. Here we describe the use, correlates, and sources of prescription drugs in a community-based cohort of people who inject drugs (PWID). Methods: We included participants of the AIDS Linked to the IntraVenous Experience (ALIVE) study in follow-up in 2014. We defined prescription drug use as use of opioids or sedatives/tranquilizers considering both medical “prescribed by a doctor” and non-medical sources “obtained from the street/friend/relative.” Correlates were evaluated separately for opioids and sedatives/tranquilizers using logistic regression and included socioeconomic factors, health conditions, substance use, and health care access. Results: 823 predominantly African-American (90.6%) and male (66.3%) ALIVE participants with a median age of 55 were included. Prevalence of prescription opioid and sedative/tranquilizer use was 25.3% and 16.3% respectively. While the majority (70%) obtained prescription drugs exclusively through medical sources, the 30% who reported any non-medical source were also more likely to use other substances by injection and non-injection routes. PWID reporting prescription drug use (from medical and non-medical sources) were significantly more likely to report other substance use, mental health disorder, and recent contact with health care providers or detoxification facilities. Conclusions: Prescription drug use was highly prevalent among PWID. While it is difficult to distinguish medically indicated from non-medical use, high levels of prescription drug use in conjunction with other drugs and alcohol heightens the risk for drug overdose and other adverse consequences.

AB - Background: Prescription drug misuse and its consequences (e.g., overdose) are a major public health concern. While national focus has been on opioids, misuse of sedatives/tranquilizers also occurs. Here we describe the use, correlates, and sources of prescription drugs in a community-based cohort of people who inject drugs (PWID). Methods: We included participants of the AIDS Linked to the IntraVenous Experience (ALIVE) study in follow-up in 2014. We defined prescription drug use as use of opioids or sedatives/tranquilizers considering both medical “prescribed by a doctor” and non-medical sources “obtained from the street/friend/relative.” Correlates were evaluated separately for opioids and sedatives/tranquilizers using logistic regression and included socioeconomic factors, health conditions, substance use, and health care access. Results: 823 predominantly African-American (90.6%) and male (66.3%) ALIVE participants with a median age of 55 were included. Prevalence of prescription opioid and sedative/tranquilizer use was 25.3% and 16.3% respectively. While the majority (70%) obtained prescription drugs exclusively through medical sources, the 30% who reported any non-medical source were also more likely to use other substances by injection and non-injection routes. PWID reporting prescription drug use (from medical and non-medical sources) were significantly more likely to report other substance use, mental health disorder, and recent contact with health care providers or detoxification facilities. Conclusions: Prescription drug use was highly prevalent among PWID. While it is difficult to distinguish medically indicated from non-medical use, high levels of prescription drug use in conjunction with other drugs and alcohol heightens the risk for drug overdose and other adverse consequences.

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