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Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use and <em>DSM-5</em> Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use Disorder in the United States

J Clin Psychiatry 2016;77(6):772–780
10.4088/JCP.15m10386

Objective: The authors present 12-month and lifetime prevalence, correlates, psychiatric comorbidity, and treatment of nonmedical prescription opioid use (NMPOU) and DSM-5 NMPOU disorder (NMPOUD).

Methods: Data were derived from the 2012–2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III (NESARC-III) (N = 36,309).

Results: Prevalences of 12-month and lifetime NMPOU were 4.1% and 11.3%, exceeding rates in the 2001–2002 NESARC (1.8%, 4.7%). Twelve-month and lifetime rates of DSM-5 NMPOUD were 0.9% and 2.1%. NESARC-III DSM-IV NMPOUD rates (0.8%, 2.9%) were greater than those observed in the 2001–2002 NESARC (0.4% and 1.4%). Rates of NMPOU were greater among men, but no sex differential was observed for NMPOUD. Prevalences of NMPOU and NMPOUD were generally greater among 18- to 64-year-old individuals, whites, and Native Americans, and individuals with lower socioeconomic status. Associations were observed between 12-month and lifetime NMPOU and NMPOUD and other drug use disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and borderline, schizotypal, and antisocial personality disorders; persistent depression and major depressive disorder (for NMPOU); and bipolar I disorder (for NMPOUD). Only 5.5% and 17.7% of individuals with 12-month NMPOU and NMPOUD were ever treated.

Conclusions: NMPOU and NMPOUD have considerably increased over the past decade, are associated with a broad array of risk factors and comorbidities, and largely go untreated in the United States. More information on the determinants, characteristics, and outcomes of NMPOU and NMPOUD is needed to support evidence-based interventions and prevention.