Background: There has been a significant increase in opioid prescriptions and the prevalence of opioid nonmedical use. Nonmedical use may lead to opioid abuse/dependence, a serious public health concern. The aim of this paper was to determine the mental and physical health predictors of incident nonmedical prescription opioid use (NMPOU) and abuse/dependence, and the impact of comorbidity in a longitudinal, nationally representative sample. Methods: Data come from Waves 1 and 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (N= 34,653; ≥20 years old). Mental disorders were assessed using the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule-DSM-IV edition. Physical conditions were based on self-reports of physician-diagnoses. Multiple logistic regression models examined the associations between mental and physical health predictors at Wave 1 and their association to incident NMPOU and abuse/dependence disorders at Wave 2. Results: After adjusting for sociodemographics, Axis I and II mental disorders and physical conditions, the presence of mental disorders (i.e., mood, personality disorders and substance use disorders), physical conditions (i.e., increasing number of physical conditions, any physical condition, arteriosclerosis or hypertension, cardiovascular disease and arthritis) and sociodemographic factors (i.e., sex and marital status) at Wave 1 positively predicted incident abuse/dependence at Wave 2. Comorbid disorders increased the risk of NMPOU and abuse/dependence. Conclusion: These results suggest the importance of mental and physical comorbidity as a risk for NMPOU and abuse/dependence, emphasizing the need for careful screening practices when prescribing opioids.
- Nonmedical prescription opioid use
- Risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)