Internet-based survey of nonmedical prescription opioid use in the United States
Katz N, Fernandez K, Chang A, Benoit C, Butler SF.
Inflexxion Inc, Newton, MA 02464, USA.
Clin J Pain. 2008 Jul-Aug;24(6):528-35.


INTRODUCTION: Prescription opioid misuse is a growing problem in the United States. There are limited data to illuminate the nature of this issue. The Internet seems to be a novel approach in surveying populations of opioid users. An Internet-based survey of nonmedical opioid users visiting informational drug websites was used to measure rates of nonmedical use and characterize users. METHODS: The prescription opioid module of the Addiction Severity Index Multimedia Version Connect was adapted to include variables such as favorite opioid. Links to the survey were posted on an informational drug website. Nonmedical use rates for KADIAN (morphine sulfate extended-release tablets), OxyContin (oxycodone HCl controlled-release tablets), Vicodin (hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets), and product-classes (morphine ER, oxycodone ER, and hydrocodone) were calculated. Descriptive statistics were calculated for remaining questions. RESULTS: During a 1-month recruitment period, 896 valid individuals completed the survey. Majority were white (78.3%) and male (72.4%). Participants were less likely to have used KADIAN in the past 30 days compared with OxyContin (P<0.0001) and Vicodin (P=0.0021). Additionally, participants were less likely to have used morphine ER in the previous 30 days than either oxycodone ER (P<0.0001) or hydrocodone (P<0.0001). Among OxyContin, Vicodin, and KADIAN users, OxyContin (43.8%), Dilaudid (15.6%), and fentanyl (9.4%) were the top 3 favorite opioids. DISCUSSION: This project demonstrates the feasibility of conducting product-specific, online surveys with rapid recruitment of participants from websites. This approach differentiates rates of nonmedical use of specific prescription opioids and provides other insights into individuals who nonmedically use opioids.

No prescription websites
Buying drugs without a prescription
Online, Offshore and Mexican Pharmacies
Two Agencies to Fight Online Narcotics Sales
Vicodin: 'some of them actually think they deserve it'
Does US drug policy leave millions of pain patients in agony?
Buying drugs online: pharmaceutical roulette or consumer freedom?
Internet surveillance: monitoring of prescription opioid use-related postings
Prescription opioid use and diversion among street drug users in New York City

and further reading

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

The Good Drug Guide
The Good Drug Guide

The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family