Online Program

Who uses prescription opioid medicines in Denmark?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Kim Bloomfield, DrPH, Center for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus University, Copenhagen S, Denmark
Background: Much of current research on nonmedical prescription opioid use (NMPOU) is based in North America. Some studies have been conducted in Scandinavia, but little research is found to date in Denmark.  This presentation investigates the socio-demographic correlates of MPOU and NMPOU to form a profile of use in the Danish general population.

Methods. Data come from a representative survey of the Danish general population aged 15 – 79 years conducted in  2011. The total sample consists of 5133 respondents representing a response rate of 64%. Data were collected by telephone or online. For current analyses, half the sample (randomly selected)was asked specific questions on use of prescribed medicines (n = 2569).

Results. Preliminary results indicate that 16% of respondents (n = 419) reported use of prescription pain killers in the last 12 months, and 90% of these said that these drugs were prescribed by their doctor. Over 25% had used such medicines daily. No significant associations were found between gender, marital status or alcohol intake with respect to use. Younger and more educated people were more likely to engage in MPOU and to be more frequent users.  Poor subjective physical and mental were also both significant factors for use. No significant correlates of exclusively NMPOU were identified.

Conclusions.  On the basis of general population survey data, most respondents report using MPOU as prescribed by their physicians. They also report significant poor physical health, which may be assumed to include pain. These results can provide a contrast and balance to the current literature by broadening the spectrum of NMPOU within the general population and comparing it to data on clinically identified cases of  NMPOU.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the sociodemographic correlates of prescribed and non-prescribed opioid medicines in the Danish general population.

Keyword(s): Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: My presented concerns prescribed and non-prescribed use of opioid pain medicines.

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an alcohol and drug social epidemiologist for over 25 years, and have been the principal investigator of several European alcohol and drug related studies. My research interests have been to develop risk profiles for various substances within the general population.
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.