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Comment & Response
April 15, 2021

Questionable Conceptualizations of Nonmedical Use Can Contribute to Needless Distress—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Palliative Care, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
JAMA Oncol. 2021;7(6):942-943. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.0572

In Reply We thank Schatman et al for their comments in response to our Original Investigation on the frequency of and factors associated with nonmedical opioid use (NMOU) behavior among patients with cancer receiving opioids for cancer pain.1 In this study, we found that the frequency of NMOU behavior in patients with cancer taking prescribed opioids was 19%; the most frequent NMOU behavior observed, unscheduled clinic visits for inappropriate refills, was 49%. Other frequent NMOU behaviors were self-escalation of opioid dosage not consistent with patient’s pain syndrome (17%), use of nonprescribed restricted medications or illicit drugs (13%), and reports of impaired functioning in daily activities due to opioid use (15%).

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