Pharmacists' views of abuse and misuse of opioids in Maine
A structured survey was developed based upon the “needs” identified by key informants. The survey was sent to all licensed pharmacists in the State (n=1,262). A 22% response rate was achieved (n=279). Survey questions included pharmacy practice setting (e.g., retail), years of experience, urban/rural locality, and views on practice needs. Questions regarding opiates included misuse, diversion, theft, and legitimate access; each assessed on a 6-point Likert scale (1=strongly disagree and 6=strongly agree).
Views of opiate misuse varied by setting (F=2.15, p=0.04). Pharmacists working in long term care agreed that misuse was an issue to a lesser degree than those working in retail (mean score 4.79 vs 5.56, respectively). Views of opioids did not vary by years in practice; however educational attainment (PharmD vs R.Ph.) influenced views on diversion (4.84 vs 5.15, p=0.02). Pharmacists serving rural populations viewed legitimate access (mean = 4.54 vs 4.12, p=0.02) and theft (4.45 vs 4.02, p=0.03) as bigger concerns than those serving urban populations.
These findings indicate that opioid misuse and diversion are a sizeable problem, and of particular note to Maine pharmacists.
Learning Areas:Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Describe differing views of the use, misuse, and abuse of opioids in Maine.
Keyword(s): Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse, Pharmacists
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 25 years of public health experience; 15 as an epidemiologist. I was awarded in-house funds to conduct this survey research to assess the pharmacy practice needs within the state of Maine.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.