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Use and Abuse of Prescribed Opioids, Central Nervous System Depressants, and Stimulants Among U.S. Active Duty Military Personnel in FY 2010

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Sponsoring Office: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Undetermined

Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2014

Principle Investigator Status: Government

Primary DoD Data Source: Military Health System (MHS) Data Repository

Secondary DoD Data Source: Other data source undetermined

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study establishes rates of use/abuse of Schedule II-IV prescription medications in U.S. active duty military personnel, and characterizes correlates of such use/abuse.
METHODS: All active duty personnel serving for 12 months during fiscal year 2010 were included. Data were obtained from medical and pharmacy claims and drug screening results. Logistic regression models were used to examine predictors of drug use, along with bivariate analyses to compare abuse of prescribed and illegal drugs.
RESULTS: Nearly one-third of active duty service members received at least one prescription for opioids, central nervous system depressants, or stimulants, with 26.4% having received at least one prescription for opioids. About 0.7%, 1.4%, and 0.6% of the total force received >90-day prescriptions for opioids, central nervous system depressants, or stimulants, respectively. Battlefield injury, receipt of psychotropic medications, and substance abuse adverse events were predictive of >90-day supply of opioids. About 0.7% of the total force had documented known drug abuse for prescribed drugs compared to 0.4% for illegal drug abuse.
CONCLUSIONS: We recommend systematic monitoring of prescriptions for controlled substances which may carry serious consequences, evaluation of the impact of controlled substances on military readiness, and examination of the rationale for prescribing controlled drugs.

Citation:

Jeffery DD, May L, Luckey B, Balison BM, Klette KL. Use and Abuse of Prescribed Opioids, Central Nervous System Depressants, and Stimulants Among U.S. Active Duty Military Personnel in FY 2010. Mil Med. 2014 Oct;179(10):1141-8

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