Archambault, L., Bertrand, K. et Perreault, M. (2022). Problematic Opioid Use: A Scoping Literature Review of Profiles. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 16, 1-12.
Background and Objectives: Problematic opioid use can be defined as opioid use behaviors leading to social, medical, or psychological consequences. In some instances, people presenting problematic opioid use can also meet criteria for an opioid use disorder. A growing body of literature highlights different types of people who use opioids, with contrasting characteristics and initiation patterns. In recent years, dynamic trends in opioid use have been documented and studies have demonstrated a shift in profiles.
Methods: A scoping literature review was conducted to identify profiles of people presenting problematic opioid use, in order to support the development of tailored interventions and services.
Results: Nine articles met the inclusion criteria. Five classifications emerge from the literature reviewed to distinguish types of people presenting problematic opioid use, according to: (1) the type of opioids used, (2) the route of opioid administration, (3) the level of quality of life, (4) patterns of other drugs used, and (5) dependence severity. While samples, concepts, and measurement tools vary between studies, the most salient finding might be the distinct profile of people presenting problematic use of pharmaceutical-type opioids.
Discussion and Conclusions: This scoping review highlights that few studies address distinctive profiles of people presenting problematic opioid use. Geographical and chronological differences suggest that local timely assessments may be needed to tailor the service offer to specific needs. Scientific Significance: Future studies should focus on providing a deep understanding of distinct experiential perspectives and service needs, through exploratory quantitative and qualitative designs.