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Wagner, Elias; Raabe, Florian; Martin, Gabriele; Winter, Catja; Ploerer, Diana; Krause, Daniela L.; Adorjan, Kristina; Koller, Gabriele; Pogarell, Oliver (2018): Concomitant drug abuse of opioid dependent patients in maintenance treatment detected with a multi-target screening of oral fluid. In: American Journal on Addictions, Vol. 27, No. 5: pp. 407-412
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Background and Objective: Numbers of drug-related deaths have been growing in Europe and the USA, especially those attributable to mixed drug consumption. Overdose deaths account for about one third up to one half of all illicit drug deaths worldwide. In most cases opioids are involved. Opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) is a well-established therapy option among people with opioid dependence. The aim of this study was to assess concomitant substance abuse in opioid-dependent patients under OMT in two centers in Munich, Germany. Methods: Oral fluid samples of opioid-dependent patients (n=388) in OMT were randomly collected and analyzed by a multi-drug screening covering a wide range of psychotropic agents with UPLC-MS/MS techniques. Results: Fifty-one percent of the patients had concomitant substance abuse of at least one non-prescribed substance, 32% were positive for substances that were not tested in routine urine diagnostics, especially pregabalin. Fifty-seven percent received take-home opioid medication, and 26% had contact with underage children. Among the take-home subgroup, a concomitant substance abuse of 43.5% was detected. Furthermore 52.5% of the patients with contact to underaged children exhibited concomitant substance abuse. Conclusion: sConcomitant substance abuse is a serious issue among OMT patients. Screening for a broader range of substances than usually analyzed, reveals additional relevant abuse among OMT patients, including pregabalinan anticonvulsant. Scientific Significance: Our study underscores the importance of monitoring a broad range of substances including others than usually screened in opioid-dependent patients in OMT. (Am J Addict 2018;27:407-412)