Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Prescription medication misuse and substance use disorder in VA primary care patients with chronic pain

Morasco BJ, Dobscha SK. Prescription medication misuse and substance use disorder in VA primary care patients with chronic pain. General hospital psychiatry. 2008 Mar 1; 30(2):93-9.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: The goal of this paper was to examine the relationship between history of substance use disorder (SUD) and self-reported prescription medication misuse in 127 primary care patients who receive opioid medications for treatment of chronic pain. METHOD: Participants completed measures of pain location, pain intensity, disability due to pain, and misuse of prescription medications. Other measures included demographic characteristics, psychiatric symptomatology and quality of life. RESULTS: Seventy-eight percent of participants reported at least one indicator of medication misuse in the prior year. After adjusting for age and clinical factors (pain severity, depression severity, current alcohol or substance use disorder), participants with SUD history were significantly more likely than participants without SUD history to report borrowing pain medications from others (OR = 6.62, 95% CI = 1.4-30.7) and requesting an early refill of pain medication (OR = 3.86, 95% CI = 1.5-9.6). CONCLUSIONS: Misuse of prescription medications is a concern among primary care patients with chronic pain. Participants with a lifetime history of SUD are more likely to endorse some aberrant medication-related behaviors. Patients with SUD histories should be carefully evaluated for medication misuse potential and may require more intense assessment and follow-up.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.