Dealers, Friends, Family Are Key Drug Sources for Opioid Abusers

By Schneider, Mary Ellen | Clinical Psychiatry News, July 2007 | Go to article overview

Dealers, Friends, Family Are Key Drug Sources for Opioid Abusers


Schneider, Mary Ellen, Clinical Psychiatry News


NEW ORLEANS -- Most opioid abusers report that they get their drugs from dealers, friends, and relatives, according to a survey of individuals entering methadone maintenance treatment programs.

But prescriptions from physicians still rank third on that list, and about 30% of opioid abusers cite physicians as a source for the painkillers. Researchers at the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, the National Development and Research Institutes, and Purdue Pharma L.P. evaluated the prevalence of prescription opioid abuse among 8,039 individuals who were admitted to 73 methadone maintenance programs in 33 states.

About 60% of the respondents were men; 95% were white. The respondents' mean age was 32 years.

About 12% reported public assistance as their major source of income, but approximately 56% of them said they were employed.

The study was presented as a poster by researcher Ann T. Kline of Purdue Pharma, which supported the research, at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

About 40% of the respondents reported that a prescription opioid analgesic was their primary drug of abuse in the month before entering the methadone program. …

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