The Relationship between Pill Sharing Networks and Abuse of Opiate Pain Relievers

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Bass-Thomas, Cynthia M.
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Middle Tennessee State University
Extended research on prescription drug abuse is limited, specifically
surrounding opiate pill source. The purpose of the current research study is to
examine if people who receive opiate prescription pills from friends use more
opiate prescription pills per month than people who receive them from other
sources and doctors. A sample size of 1,462 opiate prescription abusers was
drawn from the 67,804 participants who participated in the 2010 National Survey
on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The relationship between opiate prescription
pill use and source of pills was examined. People who obtain pills from other
sources significantly used opiate pills on more days than those who got pills from
friends or doctors. Opiate usage did not differ by gender or age. Usage was
higher for people in treatment for emotional/mental distress than for those not in
treatment. Future research into additional prescription opiate pill abuse sources
is necessary. The development of interventions to reduce opiate pill diversion is
also recommended.
Abuse, Networks, Opiate, Pill, Relationship, Sharing