Reasons for opioid use among patients with dependence on prescription opioids: The role of chronic pain

Roger D. Weiss, Jennifer Sharpe Potter, Margaret L. Griffin, R. Kathryn McHugh, Deborah Haller, Petra Jacobs, John Gardin, Dan Fischer, Kristen D. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


The number of individuals seeking treatment for prescription opioid dependence has increased dramatically, fostering a need for research on this population. The aim of this study was to examine reasons for prescription opioid use among 653 participants with and without chronic pain, enrolled in the Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study, a randomized controlled trial of treatment for prescription opioid dependence. Participants identified initial and current reasons for opioid use. Participants with chronic pain were more likely to report pain as their primary initial reason for use; avoiding withdrawal was rated as the most important reason for current use in both groups. Participants with chronic pain rated using opioids to cope with physical pain as more important, and using opioids in response to social interactions and craving as less important, than those without chronic pain. Results highlight the importance of physical pain as a reason for opioid use among patients with chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-145
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Chronic pain
  • Opioid analgesics
  • Opioid dependence
  • Prescription drug abuse
  • Relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Reasons for opioid use among patients with dependence on prescription opioids: The role of chronic pain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this