Authors

Lance Nussbaum

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Abstract

Montgomery County, Ohio, has higher overdose rates than the national or state averages: approximately 50% are related to prescription opioid misuse. A community assessment was conducted to better understand Montgomery County’s adult population’s connection with, and opinions of, prescription opioid medications. Methods: Data for 284 anonymous internet surveys were compiled and subjected to a descriptive analysis of responses and trends. Response patterns were used to recommend appropriate interventions. Results: Respondents were well-educated (91.9%), employed (76.7%), Caucasian (89.8%), females (79.2%) who resided (82%) and worked (66.5%) in Montgomery County (82%). The risk from personal misuse of prescription opioids was perceived by 91.0% of respondents, but only 77.7% incorporated mitigating behaviors. A large majority of respondents perceived the risk of sharing prescription opioids (87.6% giving, 85.2% receiving). However, fewer (71.9% giving, and 70.8%, receiving), respondents engaged in mitigating practices. The risk of taking prescription medications for reasons other than their intended use was recognized by 94.2% of the respondents. Nearly all (91%) respondents reported never taking prescription opioids for reasons other than their intended use. The vast majority (92%) of respondents disagreed with the notion that prescription medications should be accessible to everyone, yet only 35.3% stored medications securely. Similarly, 64.9% of respondents indicated that keeping unused prescription opioids was unacceptable, only 34.6% used opioid medication disposal sites. Conclusion: Respondents, despite having good risk perception, did not report mitigating behaviors to match risk perception. Prevention measures impact behavior are recommended to curbing the opioid epidemic versus education-only interventions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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