Biopsychosocial factors associated with opioid misuse in a 2017-2018 United States national survey: A comprehensive multivariate model Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • Abstract Background Few studies have comprehensively and contextually examined the relationship of variables associated with opioid misuse. Our purpose was to fill a critical gap in comprehensive risk models of opioid misuse in the United States by identifying the most salient predictors. Methods A multivariate logistic regression was used on the 2017 and 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which included all 50 states and the District of Columbia of the United States. The sample included all noninstitutionalized civilian adults aged 18 and older (N=85,580; weighted N=248,008,986). The outcome of opioid misuse was based on reported prescription pain reliever and/or heroin dependence or abuse. Biopsychosocial predictors of opioid misuse in addition to sociodemographic characteristics and other substance dependence or abuse were examined in our comprehensive model. Biopsychosocial characteristics included socioecological and health indicators. Criminality was the socioecological indicator. Health indicators included self-reported health, private health insurance, psychological distress, and suicidality. Sociodemographic variables included age, sex/gender, race/ethnicity, sexual identity, education, residence, income, and employment status. Substance dependence or abuse included both licit and illicit substances (i.e., nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, inhalants, methamphetamine, tranquilizers, stimulants, sedatives). Results The comprehensive model found that criminality (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.58, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.98-3.37, p<0.001), self-reported health (i.e., excellent compared to fair/poor [AOR=3.71, 95%CI=2.19-6.29, p<0.001], good [AOR=3.43, 95%CI=2.20-5.34, p<0.001], and very good [AOR=2.75, 95%CI=1.90-3.98, p<0.001]), no private health insurance (AOR=2.12, 95%CI=1.55-2.89, p<0.001), serious psychological distress (AOR=2.12, 95%CI=1.55-2.89, p<0.001), suicidality (AOR=1.58, 95%CI=1.17-2.14, p=0.004), and other substance dependence or abuse were significant predictors of opioid misuse. Substances associated were nicotine (AOR=3.01, 95%CI=2.30-3.93, p<0.001), alcohol (AOR=1.40, 95%CI=1.02-1.92, p=0.038), marijuana (AOR=2.24, 95%CI=1.40-3.58, p=0.001), cocaine (AOR=3.92, 95%CI=2.14-7.17, p<0.001), methamphetamine (AOR=3.32, 95%CI=1.96-5.64, p<0.001), tranquilizers (AOR=16.72, 95%CI=9.75-28.65, p<0.001), and stimulants (AOR=2.45, 95%CI=1.03-5.87, p=0.044). Conclusions Biopsychosocial characteristics such as socioecological and health indicators, as well as other substance dependence or abuse were stronger predictors of opioid misuse than sociodemographic characteristics.

author list (cited authors)

  • Ishino, F., Gilreath, T., Salmeron, B., & Williams, F.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Ishino, Francisco Alejandro Montiel||Gilreath, Tamika||Salmeron, Bonita||Williams, Faustine

Book Title

  • Research Square

publication date

  • March 2020