Finding the Hidden Risk Profiles of the United States Opioid Epidemic: Using a Person-Centered Approach on a National Dataset of Noninstitutionalized Adults Reporting Opioid Misuse. Academic Article uri icon


  • Opioid misuse can lead to use disorder and other adverse outcomes. Identifying sociodemographic risk profiles and understanding misuse patterns in combination with health indicators can inform prevention science and clinical practice. A latent class analysis of opioid misuse was conducted on noninstitutionalized United States civilians aged 18 and older that reported opioid dependence or abuse in the 2017 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (n = 476; weighted n = 2,018,922). Opioid misuse was based on heroin and/or prescription pain reliever use, and associated determinants of health and mental health indicators. Five misuse profiles were identified: (1) single heroin or prescription misuse with high-income; (2) female prescription pain reliever misuse with psychological distress and suicidality; (3) younger polyopioid misuse with the highest proportion of Hispanics and heroin use; (4) older polyopioid misuse with the highest proportion of non-Hispanic blacks and disability; and (5) older non-Hispanic white male exclusive dual heroin and/or prescription misuse (27%, 20%, 38%, 10%, and 5% of sample, respectively). The identified risk profiles can inform public health practice to develop interventions for acute and immediate response by providing etiological evidence and to inform prevention and intervention efforts along the continuum from opioid initiation to use disorder.

published proceedings

  • Int J Environ Res Public Health

author list (cited authors)

  • Montiel Ishino, F. A., Gilreath, T., & Williams, F.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Montiel Ishino, Francisco A||Gilreath, Tamika||Williams, Faustine

publication date

  • June 2020