Aims: To identify subtypes of nonmedical opioid users, gender variations in psychiatric disorders, and quality of life in a representative sample of adults.
Methods: Analyses of data from the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (N=43,093). Latent class analysis (LCA) and multinomial logistic regression procedures examined subtypes of nonmedical opioid users.
Results: Approximately 5% (n=1815) of adults used nonmedical opioids. LCA identified four subtypes: opioid-marijuana users (33%), opioid-other prescription drug users (9%), opioid-marijuana-hallucinogen users (28%), and opioid-polydrug users (30%). Subtypes were distinguished by race/ethnicity, gender, familial substance abuse, personal history of substance abuse treatment, and patterns of psychiatric disorders. Whites and men had increased odds of being in the opioid-polydrug and opioid-marijuana-hallucinogen subtypes. The opioid-other prescription drug use subtype had disproportionately affected women who were characterized by high rates of mood/anxiety disorders and low quality of life. Across all subtypes, women and men had similarly problematic substance use disorders; however, women had more major depression and disability in the mental health domain.
Conclusions: The generally high prevalence of psychiatric disorders among nonmedical opioid users, particularly women, underscores the need for comprehensive assessment and coordinated delivery of services to match needs with treatment, as well as continued monitoring of trends in opioid use and related problems.
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