- Although misuse of prescription fentanyl (PF) is rare, people who misused PF are significantly more likely to have misused benzodiazepines and heroin, and have had a nonalcohol substance use disorder (SUD) in the past year compared with the general population and people who misuse nonfentanyl prescription opioids (NFPOs).
Why this matters
- These findings suggest that PF misuse is a warning sign for opioid use disorder and overdose risk.
- Study assessed past-year opioid exposure in 114,043 respondents from National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
- Funding: National Institute on Drug Abuse.
- 4.4% of participants engaged in past-year NFPO misuse and 0.1% in PF misuse.
- Past-year heroin use was more common in those who misused PF vs those who misused NFPO (relative risk ratio [RRR], 7.14; P<.001 or those without opioid misuse p>
- Past-year SUD was significantly high in participants who misused PF vs the other NFPO group (RRR, 3.84; P=.001) or those without opioid misuse (RRR, 20.64; P<.001>
- Past-year benzodiazepine misuse was more common in those who misused PF vs those who misused NFPO (RRR, 4.10; P<.001 or those without opioid misuse p>
- Self-reported data.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD