Patterns of use and factors associated with early discontinuation of opioids following major trauma

Muhammad Ali Chaudhary, Rebecca Scully, Wei Jiang, Ritam Chowdhury, Cheryl K. Zogg, Meesha Sharma, Anju Ranjit, Tracey Koehlmoos, Adil H. Haider, Andrew J. Schoenfeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background Inappropriate use of prescription opioids is a growing public-health issue. We sought to estimate the proportion of traumatic injury patients using legal prescription opioids up to 1-year after hospitalization. Methods We used 2006–2014 claims data from TRICARE insurance to identify adults hospitalized secondary to trauma between 2007 and 2013. Prescription opioid use was evaluated for one-year post-discharge. Risk-adjusted Cox Proportional-hazards models were used to evaluate predictors of opioid discontinuation. Results Only 1% of patients sustained legal prescription opioid use at 1-year following trauma. Lower socioeconomic status (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.87–0.98) and higher injury severity (HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.84–0.91) were associated with sustained use. Younger patients (HR 1.12, 95% CI 1.04–1.21) and Black patients (HR 1.09, 95% CI 1.04–1.15) were found to have a higher likelihood of opioid discontinuation. Conclusions In this population, adult patients who sustained trauma were not at high risk of sustained legal prescription opioid use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)792-797
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Opioid dependence
  • Sustained opioid use
  • Traumatic injury


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