Alcohol use with opioids common even without abuse past

April 16, 2012
Alcohol use with opioids common even without abuse past
Alcohol or sedative use during chronic opioid therapy for non-cancer pain puts patients at risk for adverse events such as respiratory depression or sedation, and the risk of concurrent use of central nervous system depressants is not limited to patients with a history of substance abuse, according to a study published in the March issue of The Journal of Pain.

(HealthDay) -- Alcohol or sedative use during chronic opioid therapy (COT) for non-cancer pain puts patients at risk for adverse events such as respiratory depression or sedation, and the risk of concurrent use of central nervous system (CNS) depressants is not limited to patients with a history of substance abuse, according to a study published in the March issue of The Journal of Pain.

In an effort to assess the prevalence and risk factors associated with concurrent use of alcohol and sedatives, Kathleen W. Saunders, J.D., of the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, and associates surveyed 1,848 plan members who were prescribed COT for chronic non-cancer pain.

The researchers found that 29 percent of patients with no substance use disorder (SUD) history used sedatives concurrently with COT, compared with 39 percent of those with a SUD background, and rates of concurrent alcohol use were similar at about 12 to 13 percent in each group. Data showed that predictors of concurrent use of sedatives included SUD history, female gender, depression, and taking opioids at higher doses and for more than one pain condition. Male gender was found to be the only predictor of concurrent alcohol use.

"Risk factor profiles for concurrent sedative and alcohol use differed greatly, including by gender," the authors write. "Given the high rates of concurrent use of CNS depressants, even among patients at 'low risk' for misuse, and the risks associated with concurrent use of other CNS depressants, the absence of a SUD history alone does not adequately define a low risk COT patient population."

Several authors disclosed to pharmaceutical companies.

Explore further: War veterans with mental health diagnoses more likely to receive prescription opioids for pain

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

War veterans with mental health diagnoses more likely to receive prescription opioids for pain

March 6, 2012
Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans with mental health diagnoses, particularly posttraumatic stress disorder, are more likely to receive prescription opioid medications for pain-related conditions, have higher-risk opioid use ...

Researchers find anti-depressants reduce pain in opioid-dependent patients

November 3, 2011
In what is believed to be the first study of its kind to demonstrate an association between the antidepressant escitalopram and improved general pain, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), have found ...

Concurrent chemo and radiation therepy improves long-term survival for inoperable stage III lung cancer

September 8, 2011
Nearly 50,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with stage III or locally advanced NSCLC, for which surgery is usually not a viable treatment option. Optimizing nonsurgical treatment strategies for these patients is an ongoing ...

Recommended for you

Marijuana use may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment

December 4, 2017
Many patients who are being treated for opioid addiction in a medication-assisted treatment clinic use marijuana to help manage their pain and mood symptoms.

For opiate addiction, study finds drug-assisted treatment is more effective than detox

November 23, 2017
Say you're a publicly insured Californian with an addiction to heroin, fentanyl or prescription narcotics, and you want to quit.

Study finds medical cannabis is effective at reducing opioid addiction

November 17, 2017
A new study conducted by researchers at The University of New Mexico, involving medical cannabis and prescription opioid use among chronic pain patients, found a distinct connection between having the legal ability to use ...

Insomnia linked to alcohol-use frequency among early adolescents, says new psychology study

November 8, 2017
Insomnia is linked to frequency of alcohol use among early adolescents, according to new Rutgers University–Camden research.

Large declines seen in teen substance abuse, delinquency

October 25, 2017
More than a decade of data indicates teens have become far less likely to abuse alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs, and they also are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors, such as fighting and stealing, according ...

Trying to get sober? NIH offers tool to help find good care

October 3, 2017
The phone calls come—from fellow scientists and desperate strangers—with a single question for the alcohol chief at the National Institutes of Health: Where can my loved one find good care to get sober?

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.