The extent and nature of opioid analgesic dependence in primary care

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Dr Richard Cooper

Senior Lecturer

Programme director of Master of Public Health Degree at University of Sheffield Qualitative/mixed methods research experience in the area of over-the-counter and prescription medicine addiction.



There are increasing concerns about opioid analgesic medicines and particularly in relation to dependency for some patients and their use in chronic conditions. Data from the USA suggests that between 10-12% of patients taking an opioid may be dependent but evidence in other countries are lacking. This presentation will report on a recently completed study to establish the prevalence of opioid analgesic dependence in the primary care setting in England for non-cancer patients. The study used a self-report dependence measure offered to any patient identified as taking any opioid analgesic within a three month period at 10 GP practices across England in 2017. The presentation will also offer a summary of the profile of those who are dependent and suggest recommendations for clinical practice and policy.


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