Clinical characteristics distinguishing tramadol-using adolescents from other substance-using adolescents in an out-patient treatment setting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Non-medical Prescription Opioid Use (NMPOU) has increased worldwide during the last decades, and specifically, tramadol misuse may represent a novel pattern of substance use among adolescents. The present study aims to analyze characteristics distinguishing tramadol-using adolescents from other substance-using adolescents seeking out-patient treatment. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of treatment-seeking patients between 13 and 24 years of age in an out-patient facility for substance use problems in Malmö, Sweden. A total of 526 treatment-seeking adolescents at an out-patient treatment center were included. Data on substance use, treatment history and socio-demographic variables were extracted through a semi-structured interview method aimed specifically for adolescents with alcohol or drug problems (Ung-DOK). Lifetime tramadol users were compared to non-users, and also, primary tramadol users were compared to remaining subjects. Results: Thirty-one percent (n = 162) were tramadol users (lifetime prevalence). In logistic regression, the tramadol group showed a significantly increased risk of tobacco use, problematic lifetime cocaine, benzodiazepine and amphetamine use, and were more likely to report contacts with the judicial system, and less likely to report contacts with child or adult psychiatry, and more likely to have parents born outside the Scandinavian countries. In logistic regression, primary tramadol use was negatively associated with frequent cannabis use. Conclusions: Tramadol use appears to be a novel pattern among treatment-seeking adolescents. They showed a significantly increased risk of initiation of other illicit drugs and criminal behaviour, despite less contact with psychiatric care. More attention may be needed to this relatively novel pattern of opioid use.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Region Skåne
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Stockholm Regional Council
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Substance Abuse
Original languageEnglish
Article number100272
JournalAddictive Behaviors Reports
Volume11
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes