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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2012 Jan;42(1):87-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2011.07.003. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

Patterns of prescription opioid abuse and comorbidity in an aging treatment population.

Author information

1
Washington University Department of Psychiatry, Campus Box 8134, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis MO 63110, USA. Cicerot@wustl.edu

Abstract

Very little is known about the impact of age and gender on drug abuse treatment needs. To examine this, we recruited 2,573 opioid-dependent patients, aged from 18 to 75 years, entering treatment across the country from 2008 to 2010 to complete a self-administered survey examining drug use histories and the extent of comorbid psychiatric and physical disorders. Moderate to very severe pain and psychiatric disorders, including polysubstance abuse, were present in a significant fraction of 18- to 24-year-olds, but their severity grew exponentially as a function of age: 75% of those older than 45 years had debilitating pain and psychiatric problems. Women had more pain than men and much worse psychiatric issues in all age groups. Our results indicate that a "one-size-fits-all" approach to prevention, intervention, and treatment of opioid abuse that ignores the shifting needs of opioid-abusing men and women as they age is destined to fail.

PMID:
21831562
PMCID:
PMC3217134
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsat.2011.07.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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