The non-medical use of pharmaceutical opioids is a growing public health problem throughout the United States. The purpose of this National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded natural history study is to describe trajectories of non-prescribed pharmaceutical opioid use and identify the factors associated with the development of DSM-IV abuse or dependence on pharmaceutical opioids (and transition to heroin use) among young users (NIH grant #R01DA023577-05).
The specific aims are to:
- Describe key dimensions of illicit pharmaceutical opioid use among young adults as well as the characteristics of those who transition to opioid abuse, dependence, and heroin use, using ethnographic methods.
- Describe the baseline characteristics of young adult illicit pharmaceutical opioid users and conduct cross-sectional analyses focusing on substance abuse practices.
- Describe and analyze the trajectories of illicit pharmaceutical opioid use and other drugs.
- Describe and analyze the development of pharmaceutical opioid abuse and dependence and identify the factors associated with transition to disorder.
Using Respondent-Driven Sampling, 400 young adults who misuse pharmaceutical opioids will be recruited to participate in structured interviews every 6 months after baseline for 3 years. The quantitative data will be complemented with longitudinal ethnographic interviews.
In addition to describing changes in pharmaceutical and other drug use over time and identifying the characteristics associated with transition to abuse and/or dependence, the study will focus on the relationship between drug use and HIV/HCV sex risk behaviors as well as injection risk among those who transition to injection,
The proposed study is significant because illicit use of pharmaceutical opioids is increasing, and the factors associated with the development of abuse and dependence are unknown. The findings from this study will fill this gap. The findings will also help inform the development of interventions to address the problems associated with illicit pharmaceutical opioid use, abuse, and dependence.
- Carlson, R.G., Nahhas, R.W., Daniulaityte, R., Martins, S.S., Li, L., Falck, R.S., (2013) Latent class analysis of non-opioid dependent illegal pharmaceuticalopioid users in Ohio. Drug Alcohol Depend, [Epub ahead of print]. [Abstract]
- Carlson R.G., Nahhas R.W., Martins S.S., Daniulaityte R., (2016) Predictors of transition to heroin use among initially non-opioid dependent illicit pharmaceutical opioid users: A natural history study. Drug Alcohol Depend. [Abstract]
- Daniulaityte, R., Falck, R.S., Li, L., Nahhas, R.W., Carlson, R.G., (2011) Respondent-driven sampling to recruit young adult non-medical users of pharmaceutical opioids: Problems and solutions. Drug Alcohol Depend,[Epub ahead of print].[Abstract]
- Daniulaityte, R., Falck, R.S., Carlson, R.G., (2011) Illicit use of buprenorphine in a community sample of young adult non-medical users of pharmaceutical opioids. Drug Alcohol Depend, [Epub ahead of print]. [Abstract]
- Daniulaityte, R., Falck, R.S., Carlson, R.G., (2012) I'm not afraid of those ones just 'cause they've been prescribed": Perceptions of risk among illicit users of pharmaceutical opioids. Int J Drug Policy, [Epub ahead of print]. [Abstract]
- Daniulaityte, R., Falck, R.S., Carlson, R.G., (2014) Sources of pharmaceutical opioids for non-medical use among young adults. J Psychoactive Drugs, [Epub ahead of print]. [Abstract]