The abuse of prescription medications, specifically opioids, is unfortunately not uncommon. Several high profile celebrities have battled with opioid abuse in the public eye. However, new research is showing some interesting similarities in the profiles of prescription drug abusers.

Oxycodone and hydrocodone are the most preferred drugs among 75% of individuals addicted to opioid drugs.

A recent article in the journal Pain profiles abusers and shares some details about the use of these drugs. As explains about the study’s findings:

“Oxycodone was the most popular drug overall because of the quality of the high for those who sought such effects. Nonetheless, hydrocodone remains one of the most popular primary drugs, even though it has lower euphoric qualities. In addition, users say they are concerned about acetaminophen poisoning since, until recently, all hydrocodone products contained non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.”

Researchers surveyed individuals whose information was kept anonymous to ensure that honest feedback was provided. Afterwards, they also recruited 200 of the participants who were willing to give up their anonymity to allow the study to look at their lifestyle and choices in more detail.

Over 44% of users were abusing oxycodone. Hydrocodone was significantly lower at only just over 29%. Very few of the participants used any other type of opiate medications. 90% of these users were taking these medications for their mood altering properties. However, pain management still appeared to be a factor for as many as 50% to 60% of these users indicated that they struggled with chronic pain. Their overuse of these medications, and dependency on them, indicates that their pain may be mismanaged by medical professionals.

The researchers hope that this study can help doctors and pain specialists better manage the medications they prescribe to patients with chronic pain conditions. These considerations along with the information regarding age, gender, personality, and other contributing factors can help specialists recognize the possibility of addictive behaviors in their patients and choose alternative solutions.

Have you experienced dependency with a prescription opioid medication or know somebody who suffered from opioid abuse?

Image by Chris Yarzab via Flickr


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