Table 2

Participant characteristics and codeine use

Initial type of painSubsequent reasons for codeine useTime between first and last useSource of obtaining codeineSeverity of Dependence Scale scoreIntervention and treatment
1MHeadache.To reduce stress.7 years.Prescription, OTC, obtained from family.15*Residential rehabilitation programme.
2FDysentery.Recreational purposes and to reduce stress.1 year.Prescription and OTC.4None.
3FPain after an operation.To sleep, to reduce stress and for depression.1 month.Prescription.7*GP support and counselling.
4FPeriod pain.15 years.Prescription.12*GP support.
5FInjury.To sleep and recreational purposes.15 years.Prescription and OTC.8*None.
6FDeep vein thrombosis from heroin use.Used when heroin unavailable.8 years.Prescription and OTC.11*Previously in residential rehabilitation. At time of interview none.
7FPain after an operation.For anxiety.10 years.Prescription and OTC.14*None.
8FBack pain.20 years.Prescription.7*None.
9FHead injury.To reduce stress and to sleep.2 years.Prescription and OTC.10*None.
10FMigraines.To reduce stress and to sleep.25 years.Prescription.2None.
11MMigraines and back pain.For anxiety and for depression.14 years.Prescription, OTC and internet.0Private psychiatry and private pain specialist.
12FArthritis.2 years.Prescription and OTC.5*None.
13MHeadache and later osteoarthritis.For anxiety, recreational purposes.15 years.Prescription, OTC and obtained from family.1None.
14FArthritis.3 years.OTC.6*None.
15FMigraines, back pain and irritable bowel syndrome.To sleep.8 years.OTC and obtained from a friend.2None.
16FUlcers.To sleep.4 months.OTC.0None.
  • *Scores of 5 and above indicate probable psychological dependence on codeine.

  • F, female; M, male; OTC, over the counter.