Chronic low back pain linked to higher rates of illicit drug use

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Studies have shown that people living with chronic low back pain are more likely to have used illicit drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine. It is unclear if these persons used illicit drugs before incurring chronic low back pain, but doctors should be aware of the evidence of these studies and prescribe accordingly.

Key Takeaways:

  • People living with chronic low back pain (cLBP) are more likely to use illicit drugs
  • In addition, cLBP patients with a history of illicit drug use are more likely to have a current prescription for opioid analgesic (pain-relieving) drugs
  • About 49 percent of adults with cLBP said they had ever used illicit drugs, compared to 43 percent of those without cLBP. Rates of current illicit drug use (within the past 30 days) were also higher in the cLBP group: 14 percent versus nine percent.

“People living with chronic low back pain (cLBP) are more likely to use illicit drugs — including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine — compared to those without back pain, reports a study in Spine, published by Wolters Kluwer.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160721143900.htm

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