Seeking Drug Treatment for Oxycontin Abuse: A Chart Review of Consecutive Admissions to a Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Kentucky

Authors: Lon Hays MD1, Kenneth L. Kirsh PhD1, and Steven D. Passik PhD1
View More View Less
  • 1 From the Psychiatry Service, and Symptom Management and Palliative Care Program, Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.

The abuse of prescription opioids has been reported to be on the rise and has gained much public attention, especially given the recent media coverage devoted to the abuse of sustained-release oxycodone (OxyContin, Purdue Pharma LP, Stamford, CT). We tracked admissions to our substance abuse program to put OxyContin abuse into perspective as a presenting problem in the region. A total of 258 admissions to a psychiatric facility for opioid dependence over a 15 month period, for the treatment of prescription opioid abuse, were examined in this chart-review study. A total of 162 patients (62.8%) were admitted for problems related to OxyContin, and the remaining 96 (37.2%) were admitted for abusing other prescription opioids (not including OxyContin). Those abusing OxyContin were found to be younger, more often from a rural background, and more likely to be male compared with those abusing other prescription opioids. In addition, more than half met the criteria for an additional chemical dependency diagnosis and had an additional psychiatric diagnosis. Polysubstance abuse, including OxyContin abuse, was a significant presenting problem to our Addictive Disease Unit between October 2000 and December 2001. Although this chart-review study is not designed to be indicative of the epidemiology of OxyContin abuse, it offers some insight into the nature of this phenomenon in a particular region during the height of public attention paid to it. A follow-up prospective study to examine this phenomenon in multiple regions, further away chronologically from the increased media attention, is underway.

Correspondence: Steven D. Passik, PhD, Symptom Management and Palliative Care Program, Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky, 800 Rose Street, CC453, Lexington, KY 40536-0093. E-mail: spassik@uky.edu
  • 1

    Musto DF. The American Disease: Origins of Narcotics Control. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1999.

  • 2

    Rock, Paul E., ed. Drugs and Politics. New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1977.

  • 3

    Friedman DP. Perspectives on the medical use of drugs of abuse. J Pain Symptom Manage 1990;5(suppl):25.

  • 4

    Colliver JD, Kopstein AN. Trends in cocaine abuse reflected in emergency room episodes reported to DAWN. Public Health Rep 1991;106:5968.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5

    Gfroerer J, Brodsky M. The incidence of illicit drug use in the United States, 1962-1989. Br J Addict 1992;87:13451351.

  • 6

    Regier DA, Meyers JK, Dramer M et al.. The NIMH epidemiologic catchment area program. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1984;41:934941.

  • 7

    Prescription drugs: abuse and addiction. NIDA Research Report Series, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, June 2001.

  • 8

    National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Population Estimates 1991. Washington, DC: Superintendant of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, DHHS Publication No. (ADM) 92–1887, 1991.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9

    Bishop G. Health Psychology: Integrating Mind and Body. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1994.

  • 10

    Brannon L, Feist J. Health Psychology: An Introduction to Behavior and Health. Boston: Brooks/Cole Publishing, 1997.

  • 11

    Passik SD, Theobald D. Managing addiction in advanced cancer patients: Why bother? J Pain Symptom Manage 2000;19:229234.

  • 12

    Ward SE, Goldberg N, Miller-McCoulry V et al.. Patient-related barriers to management of cancer pain. Pain 1993;52:319324.

  • 13

    Ramer L, Richardson JL, Cohen MZ et al.. Multimeasure pain assessment in an ethnically diverse group of patients with cancer. J Transcult Nurs 1999;10:94101.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14

    1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) Report Series, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1999.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15

    OxyContin (Oxycodone HCl Controlled-release) Product Information [brochure]. Stamford, CT: Purdue Pharma LP, 2001.

  • 16

    Rao R, Dessai N. OxyContin and neonatal abstinence syndrome. J Perinatol 2002;22:324325.

  • 17

    Hancock CM. OxyContin use and abuse. Clin J Oncol Nurs 2002;6:109910.

  • 18

    Work Place Substance Abuse Advisor. May 3, 2002;16(11). Palm Beach Gardens, FL: LRP Publications/Dartnell.

  • 19

    Joranson D, Ryan K, Gilson A, Dahl J. Trends in medicaid use and abuse of opioid analgesics. JAMA 2000;283:17101714.

  • 20

    U.S. Department of Justice. Oxycontin Diversion and Abuse. Washington, DC: National Drug Intelligence Center. Information Bulletin, Product No. 2001-L0424-001, January 2001.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1 0 0
Full Text Views 734 208 21
PDF Downloads 440 137 20
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0