The Prevalence of and Factors Associated With Receiving Concurrent Controlled Substance Prescriptions

Erin A. Ferries, Aaron M. Gilson, Rajendar R. Aparasu, Hua Chen, Michael L. Johnson, Marc L. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Controlled substance prescription (CSP) use and abuse in the United States has become a public health epidemic. One common and dangerous indicator of abuse involves obtaining CSPs concurrently. Objective: The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence and factors associated with individuals receiving potentially inappropriate concurrent CSPs. Methods: This was a retrospective, cohort analysis using data from the 2013–2014 Texas prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). Descriptive statistics and a multiple logistic regression analysis were conducted to examine the individual-level and prescription utilization factors associated with individuals obtaining concurrent CSPs. Results: Among Texas residents, 1,640,015 individuals (6.10% of all Texas residents and 15.99% of all CSP utilizers) were identified with at least one concurrent CSP combination. Concurrent opioid prescriptions were found to be the most prevalent concurrent use combination (n = 1,574,572). Having prescriptions for opioids, being ≥18 years of age, utilizing CSPs for >30 days, utilizing greater than one CSP, having a multiple provider episode, and traveling >25 miles to obtain CSPs were all statistically significant predictors of utilizing concurrent CSPs. Conclusion: The study findings indicate a high prevalence of individuals utilizing concurrent CSPs. This practice is concerning when considering that many overdose deaths result from the concurrent use of CSPs. Prescribers should utilize PDMPs to ensure that aberrant prescription drug behaviors, such as the use of concurrent opioids and benzodiazepines do not readily occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1639-1645
Number of pages7
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2017


  • Controlled substance prescriptions (CSP)
  • benzodiazepines
  • muscle relaxants
  • opioids
  • prescription drug abuse
  • prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP)
  • stimulants


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