Patterns of prescription drug use and misuse in Spain: The European Opioid Treatment Patient Survey

Francina Fonseca, Marta Torrens, Magí Farré, Karin E. McBride, Marilena Guareschi, Didier Touzeau, Pierre Villeger, Amine Benyamina, Oscar D’Agnone, Lorenzo Somaini, Icro Maremmani, Richard C. Dart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017, Pacini Editore S.p.A. All rights reserved. Aim: The present study aims to evaluate the patterns of prescription drug misuse in a medication-assisted treatment centre (MAT) in Spain. Methods: Launched in October 2014, this study is based on patient self-report data collected at treatment programme intake past 90-day use and injection history for European market prescription opioids, prescription stimulants, prescription cannabinoids, heroin, and other prescription drugs, as well as basic demographic information, treatment history, and health care worker status. Results: A total of 101 surveys have been collected so far in Spain (69% males, 42±10 years). The main drugs reported at intake were heroin (51%), cocaine (26%), cannabis (11%), amphetamines (4%), benzodiazepines (3%), prescription opioids (3%), in addition to other substances (3%). The main routes of administration were smoking (34%), injection (30%), snorting (27%), and oral consumption (7%), while 2 subjects used transdermal patches (2%). A majority of subjects (63%) were abusing more than one substance. Conclusions: Initial data show that, in Spain, there is widespread concomitant abuse of prescription drugs, mainly benzodiazepines, prescription opioids and cannabis. A thorough knowledge of drug use patterns can provide information that will be useful in developing effective forms of prevention and treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-56
JournalHeroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • European survey
  • Prescription drugs
  • Prescription opioids


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