Effect of Depression On Pain and Nonmedical Use of Opioid Medication

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Effect of Depression On Pain and Nonmedical Use of Opioid Medication

A growing public health concern is the non-medical use of prescription medication among US adults. In outpatient encounters, the healthcare providers should proactively address this issue. A study was done to know about the interactive effects among prescription drugs, pain, and psychiatric symptoms among adult outpatients to build an empirical foundation for comprehensive screening.

Total 625 adult neurosurgery and orthopedic patients at a suburban satellite clinic of an urban academic medical center were screened. Using the American Psychiatric Association's recommended screening protocol, a convenience sample was screened for psychiatric and substance use disorder symptoms. Testing was done whether psychiatric symptoms moderated the relationship between pain level and nonmedical use of prescription medicine.

Within 1 standard deviation of the screeners' normative data, the patients revealed average levels of depression, anxiety, and pain symptoms. However, the patients delineated highly inflated levels of nonmedical use of opioids and benzodiazepines compared with national data. Managing for age, sex, and race, pain level revealed nonprescription use of opioid and benzodiazepine medications. Similarly, patients with reduced levels of depression and pain were protected against the unprescribed use of opioids.

These outcomes focused on the importance of examining unprescribed medication use even with patients at moderate levels of psychiatric symptoms and pain.

Journal of Addiction Medicine
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