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Methods and predictors of tampering with a tamper-resistant controlled-release oxycodone formulation


Peacock, A and Degenhardt, L and Hordern, A and Larance, B and Cama, E and White, N and Kihas, I and Bruno, R, Methods and predictors of tampering with a tamper-resistant controlled-release oxycodone formulation, International Journal of Drug Policy, 26, (12) pp. 1265-1272. ISSN 0955-3959 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.05.023


Background: In April 2014, a tamper-resistant controlled-release oxycodone formulation was introduced into the Australian market. This study aimed to identify the level and methods of tampering with reformulated oxycodone, demographic and clinical characteristics of those who reported tampering with reformulated oxycodone, and perceived attractiveness of original and reformulated oxycodone for misuse (via tampering).

Methods: A prospective cohort of 522 people who regularly tampered with pharmaceutical opioids and had tampered with the original oxycodone product in their lifetime completed two interviews before (January-March 2014: Wave 1) and after (May-August 2014: Wave 2) introduction of reformulated oxycodone.

Results: Four-fifths (81%) had tampered with the original oxycodone formulation in the month prior to Wave 1; use and attempted tampering with reformulated oxycodone amongst the sample was comparatively low at Wave 2 (29% and 19%, respectively). Reformulated oxycodone was primarily swallowed (15%), with low levels of recent successful injection (6%), chewing (2%), drinking/dissolving (1%), and smoking (<1%). Participants who tampered with original and reformulated oxycodone were socio-demographically and clinically similar to those who had only tampered with the original formulation, except the former were more likely to report prescribed oxycodone use and stealing pharmaceutical opioid, and less likely to report moderate/severe anxiety. There was significant diversity in the methods for tampering, with attempts predominantly prompted by self-experimentation (rather than informed by word-of-mouth or the internet). Participants rated reformulated oxycodone as more difficult to prepare and inject and less pleasant to use compared to the original formulation.

Conclusion: Current findings suggest that the introduction of the tamper-resistant product has been successful at reducing, although not necessarily eliminating, tampering with the controlled-release oxycodone formulation, with lower attractiveness for misuse. Appropriate, effective treatment options must be available with increasing availability of abuse-deterrent products, given the reduction of oxycodone tampering and use amongst a group with high rates of pharmaceutical opioid dependence.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:abuse deterrence, tamper-resistant formulations, pharmaceutical opioids, injecting drug use, opioid dependence, post-marketing surveillance
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Applied and developmental psychology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Peacock, A (Miss Amy Peacock)
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:101839
Year Published:2015
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1022522)
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2015-07-12
Last Modified:2018-12-14
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