Opioid dosage levels, concurrent risk factors and self-perceptions among chronic pain, opioid-managed individuals at elevated risk for opioid overdose

Matthew S. Ellis, Zachary A. Kasper, Mark Gold, Theodore Cicero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

While current opioid prescribing guidelines highlight a dose-response relationship between therapeutic management and overdose risk, other concurrent risk factors have also been identified. However, there is little data in assessing the relationship between risk factor prevalence, associated provider communication, and subsequent perceptions of overdose risk among chronic pain, opioid-managed (CPOM) patients. An online questionnaire was distributed in June 2020 to a sample of CPOM individuals (n = 190) treated with an opioid prescription at or above 50 daily MME, or any dosage alongside benzodiazepines. CPOM individuals reported a mean daily MME of 470, with half (52.6%) receiving a concurrent benzodiazepine prescription. All patients reported past month alcohol use, and 67.4% indicated a risk-elevating diagnosed medical condition. In assessing provider communication, 41.6% reported no discussion focusing on the risks of one’s opioid therapy. Subsequently, 62.1% perceived themselves as having “no risk”, and 60.0% were “not at all concerned” (60.0%) about experiencing an opioid overdose. Organizational policies should focus on implementing consistent methods of patient education regarding overdose risk, as well as assessments of behaviors or characteristics that my increase an individual’s risk of opioid overdose. These policies should also include other forms of evidence-based overdose risk prevention such as co-prescriptions of naloxone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1279
JournalPharmaceuticals
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Chronic pain
  • Opioid dosage
  • Opioid overdose
  • Opioid therapy
  • Prescription opioids

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Opioid dosage levels, concurrent risk factors and self-perceptions among chronic pain, opioid-managed individuals at elevated risk for opioid overdose'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this