The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

HARCP Archives

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 2021, 23, N3 (pages: 37 - 44)

Patterns of pain killers and other opioid use in patients admitted to a detoxification and dual diagnosis unit, 2016-19: a retrospective cohort study

Casado-Espada N.M., Alvarez-Navares A., Lozano-Lopez M.T., Gamonal-Limcaoco R.S., de la Iglesia-Larrad J., Garzón M.Á., Dening T., and Roncero C.

Summary: Background: Increasing opioid consumption in recent years has given rise to compelling significant concerns. Fentanyl, heroin, new psychoactive substances and prescribed opioids have been named as the main substances involved in the ‘opioid epidemic'. Aim: To analyse the pattern of opioid use in the Detoxification and Dual Disorders Unit of Salamanca (Spain) across 2016 to 2019. Materials and Methods: Data were collected retrospectively from a sample of 795 patients (611 men and 184 women) admitted to the Detoxification and Dual Diagnosis Unit from 2016 to 2019, inclusive. Results: 350 (44%) of all patients admitted were diagnosed with an opioid-related disorder. Around two-thirds (N=232) of these had a pattern of poly-drug misuse. The relatively small number of patients with opioid dependence due to prescribed painkiller dependence increased from 1% to 5% during the study period. Cancer was the commonest indication for prescribed opioids. Patients with dependence on prescribed opioids tended to be older than those with other patterns of use (47.9 years old compared with 44.0 years) and women were over-represented in this group (9% of opioid dependence in women compared with only 1% in men), and those patients had high levels of anxiety and depression diagnoses. Conclusions: Knowing about this situation provides a better perspective for working on treatment plans. We need clear interventions and management strategies to detect the misuse or abuse of painkillers.


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