Table 2

Main thematic categories and frequency of responses

N=300Frequency of responses (%)
Can you describe the patient behaviours that trigger your suspicion of codeine misuse?
 Requesting prescriptions for codeine212 (71)
 Aberrant behaviour89 (30)
 Unresolved pain/cough78 (19)
 Lost prescriptions or medications52 (17)
 Physical or psychological symptoms41 (14)
 History of addiction38 (13)
 Doctor/pharmacy shopping for codeine medicines28 (9)
 History of comorbidity14 (5)
 Socioeconomic status14 (5)
 Sex3 (1)
Can you describe the types of treatments that you use for patients with codeine dependence?
 Slow or gradual withdrawal153 (51)
 Education/counselling87 (29)
 Referral to secondary or specialist care87 (29)
 Restricted prescriptions60 (20)
 Substitution with another drug (drug not specified)30 (10)
 Substitution using methadone/buprenorphine/other opiate drug27 (9)
 Substitution with non-opioid medication15 (5)
 Substitution using benzodiazepines/other antipsychotics/other15 (5)
 Cold turkey9 (3)
What were the main reasons for referring patients to specialist treatment?ii
 Failure to manage patient effectively in practice150 (50)
 Complex case requiring specialist care186 (62)
 Patient request for referral63 (21)
 Lack of resources45 (15)