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Trends in the Nonmedical Use of OxyContin, United States, 2006 to 2013

Jones, Christopher M. PharmD, MPH; Muhuri, Pradip K. PhD; Lurie, Peter G. MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000426
Original Articles

Objectives: The role of the opioid OxyContin in the opioid abuse epidemic has been well documented. In 2010, OxyContin was reformulated to make it more difficult to abuse. We assessed past-year OxyContin nonmedical use among a nationally representative population and among nonmedical users of opioid pain relievers in the United States between 2006 and 2013.

Materials and Methods: Data are from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Prevalence estimates of past-year OxyContin nonmedical use overall and by sociodemographic, geographic, and substance use characteristics were calculated for each year, 2006 through 2013. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify individual characteristics associated with past-year OxyContin nonmedical use before and after reformulation.

Results: In 2013, the of past-year nonmedical use of OxyContin among people 12 years and older in the United States was 0.5%. This was significantly lower than the prevalence in 2010 (0.7%; P<0.05), but was similar to that in 2006 to 2009 and 2011 to 2012. Among past-year nonmedical users of pain relievers in 2013, the prevalence of OxyContin nonmedical use was 13.0%. This was significantly higher than the prevalence in 2006 (10.5%; P<0.05), and was similar to that in 2007 through 2012. Groups with increased odds of using OxyContin nonmedically in the past-year were similar before and after reformulation (2009-2010 and 2012-2013, respectively). For 2012-2013, odds for past-year OxyContin nonmedical use after reformulation were greatest for: people reporting ≥200 days of pain reliever nonmedical use, adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=3.61 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.47-5.28); past-year heroin users, aOR=3.45 (95% CI, 2.22-5.37); and people with past-year pain reliever abuse or dependence, aOR=2.57 (95% CI, 1.88-3.51).

Discussion: The prevalence of past-year OxyContin nonmedical use in 2013, 3 years after reformulation, was significantly lower than the prevalence in the reformulation year, but similar to other years before and after reformulation. The prevalence of OxyContin nonmedical use among nonmedical users of pain relievers was higher than or similar to historical prevalence rates before reformulation. Groups with increased odds of OxyContin nonmedical use were similar before and after reformulation.

*US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville

US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD

This paper has not been subject to AHRQ’s regular review and editing process. The conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the US Food and Drug Administration, SAMHSA, or AHRQ.

P.K.M. participated in this study while he was an employee of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). He is currently an employee of Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The remaining authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, MPH, Division of Science Policy Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, US Department of Health and Human Services 202-690-7287, 200 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20201 (e-mail: Christopher.Jones@HHS.GOV).

Received August 25, 2015

Received in revised form December 29, 2016

Accepted July 22, 2016

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