Pain Severity and Interference and Substance Use Among Community Pharmacy Patients Prescribed Opioids: A Secondary Analysis of the PHARMSCREEN Study

Elizabeth Charron, Akiko Okifuji, M. Aryana Bryan, Sarah Reese, Jennifer L. Brown, Andrew Ferguson, Udi E. Ghitza, T. Winhusen, Gerald Cochran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This secondary analysis examined relationships between pain severity and interference and substance use among patients filling opioid prescriptions in Indiana and Ohio community pharmacies (n = 1,461). We likewise sought to explore the moderating role of gender in pain-substance use relations. We used patient-reported data from a cross-sectional health survey linked with controlled substance dispensing data from statewide prescription drug monitoring programs. Multivariable logistic regression estimated associations between pain severity and interference and various indices of risky prescription opioid use and non-opioid substance use. Exploratory analyses examined whether gender moderated associations. Increased pain severity was associated with increased odds of moderate- to high-risk opioid use (OR: 1.23; 95% CI: 1.16-1.31) and opioid-benzodiazepine co-use (OR: 1.20; 95% CI: 1.03-1.40). Increased pain interference was associated with greater odds of receiving opioids from multiple pharmacies or providers (OR: 1.15; 95% CI: 1.01-1.31). Increased pain severity and interference were associated with higher odds of any tobacco use (severity: OR: 1.13; 95% CI: 1.06-1.21; interference: OR: 1.07; 95% CI: 1.01-1.12) and weekly to daily sedative use (severity: OR: 1.13; 95% CI: 1.03-1.25; interference: OR: 1.13; 95% CI: 1.04-1.22). Increased pain severity was associated with decreased odds of any alcohol use (OR: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.88-0.99). Gender was a significant effect modifier in associations between pain and alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use. The study was registered in the database of clinicaltrials.gov (register number NCT03936985). Perspective: This study suggests that pain severity and interference are associated with increased use of non-medical prescription opioids, sedatives, and tobacco and decreased use of alcohol, in ways that are different between women and men. Findings may guide the development of gender-sensitive evidence-based strategies to ameliorate or prevent substance misuse among patients living with pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1448-1459
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pain
Volume23
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Community pharmacy
  • opioids
  • pain interference
  • pain severity
  • substance use

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