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Journal Article


Jones CM. Addict. Behav. 2017; 78: 145-152.


Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University, 950 New Hampshire Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. 20052, United States. Electronic address:


(Copyright © 2017, Elsevier Publishing)






BACKGROUND: Despite concerns over increasing harms associated with prescription opioid injection misuse, there is a paucity of research on the magnitude, characteristics, injection practices, and syringe sources for people who inject prescription opioids; limiting the implementation of targeted policy and programmatic initiatives.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data from the 2003 through 2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health were used to estimate prescription opioid injection trends and examine risky injection practices and syringe sources for people who inject prescription opioids. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify characteristics associated with prescription opioid injection.

RESULTS: Among people 12years or older, the rate of prescription opioid injection misuse increased from 1.6 per 1000 in 2003-2005 to 2.7 per 1000 in 2012-2014 (p value for trend <0.05). Groups with increased odds of prescription opioid injection included: males, non-Hispanic whites, having an annual household income <$50,000, the uninsured, people with Medicaid, and people with past-year use disorders for cocaine, heroin, or prescription opioids. Risky injection practices such as reusing a needle and sharing needles were common among people with a history of prescription opioid injection misuse.

CONCLUSION: This study found significant increases in prescription opioid injection misuse trends in the U.S. These findings underscore the need to bring to scale evidence-based interventions to increase the provision of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders and expand access to comprehensive risk-reduction services for people who inject drugs.

Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Language: en


Opioid abuse; Opioid addiction; Prescription opioid injection


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