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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-18

Prevalence of opioid misuse, abuse and dependence among chronic pain patients on opioids followed in chronic pain clinic in a tertiary care hospital Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Anesthesia; King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Al Faisal Medical School, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Sameeh Al Maharbi
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/HMJ.HMJ_30_18

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Background: Opioids have proven very useful for treatment of acute pain and cancer pain, and in the developed countries, opioids are increasingly used for the treatment of chronic non-malignant pain patients as well. Treatment of chronic pain patients with opioids may have several long-term consequences; especially, addiction that has been a feared complication. Objective: The objective of the study was to estimate the prevalence of opioid misuse, abuse and dependence amongst chronic pain patients on opioids followed in chronic pain clinic. Study Design and Settings: This is a cross-sectional study that carried out in chronic pain clinic in a tertiary care hospital Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre [KFSH and RC]). All chronic pain patients on opioids, apart from acute pain patients and children, were eligible for the study. The Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (Opioid ASSIST) screening questionnaire in Arabic was used as a screening tool for opioid misuse, abuse and dependence. Results: A total of 219 chronic pain patients participated in the study. There were 80 males (36.5%) and 139 females (63.5%). Prevalence of opioids misuse, abuse and dependence in chronic pain patients attending chronic pain clinic in KFSH and RC is 12.8%, 9.1% and 3.2%, respectively, based on opioids ASSIST questionnaire cut points. Conclusion: Opioid use disorders are common in pain clinics. They should be considered as serious complications of using opioids in managing chronic pain patients. Considering the high risk of opioid misuse, abuse and dependence amongst chronic pain patients, more screening and rehabilitation services are necessary.


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