Estimated magnitude of diversion and abuse of opioids relative to benzodiazepines in France

Publié le 3 mai 2012

Pauly et al., Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2012 (in press)

  • Titre traduit : Ampleur estimée de la déviation d’usage et de l’abus des benzodiazépines en France
  • Auteurs : V. Pauly, V. Pradel, L. Pourcel, S. Nordmann, E. Frauger, M. Lapeyre-Mestre, J. Micallef, X. Thirion
  • Résumé :
    • Introduction: Prescription drug abuse is a major concern in several countries. France appears to be particularly prone to the abuse of opiate maintenance treatment (OMT) opioids and benzodiazepines (BZD), whereas the abuse of opioid analgesics (OA) is less commonly reported. To estimate the extent of psychoactive drug abuse, the French drug agency relies on different methods measuring various diversion indicators used as proxies for the detection of abuse/misuse: suspicion of abuse/dependence, illegal acquisition by patients seen in specialized care centers, prescription forgery and doctor shopping. The main objectives of the present study are to analyse the abuse and diversion of opioids (both OA and OMT), in comparison with those of BZDs, through the concurrent use of three different data sources.
    • Methods: Diversion and abuse of opioids were analysed using indicators of abuse and diversion derived from three data sources over the period 2006–2008. Then, opioids were compared to BZDs for the year 2008 using the same indicators.
    • Results: The analysis suggests that BZDs are more commonly dispensed than OAs and OMTs but that abuse and diversion are related mainly to OMT (particularly to buprenorphine), morphine and BZDs and less to OAs (except for morphine).
    • Conclusion: This study presents an original approach, based on the use of multiple data sources, to evaluate and compare the estimated abuse and diversion of opioids and benzodiazepines. It provides health authorities with a global, comparative and summarized overall view of the importance of different patterns of diversion and abuse for different prescription drugs.
  • Référence : In press – Available online 2 April 2012
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