Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Addiction
Volume 2017, Article ID 6716929, 9 pages
Research Article

High Rates of Tramadol Use among Treatment-Seeking Adolescents in Malmö, Sweden: A Study of Hair Analysis of Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use

1Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
2Department of Forensic Genetics and Forensic Toxicology, Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine, Linköping, Sweden
3Division of Drug Research, Linköping University, 581 85 Linköping, Sweden

Correspondence should be addressed to Martin O. Olsson; es.ul.dem@nosslo.o_nitram

Received 21 September 2017; Accepted 6 December 2017; Published 24 December 2017

Academic Editor: Leandro F. Vendruscolo

Copyright © 2017 Martin O. Olsson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Nonmedical prescription opioid use (NMPOU) is a growing problem and tramadol has been suggested as an emerging problem in young treatment-seeking individuals. The aim of the present study was to investigate, through hair analysis, NMPOU in this group and, specifically, tramadol use. Methods. In a study including 73 treatment-seeking adolescents and young adults at an outpatient facility for young substance users, hair specimens could be obtained from 59 subjects. Data were extracted on sociodemographic background variables and psychiatric diagnoses through MINI interviews. Results. In hair analysis, tramadol was by far the most prevalent opioid detected. Thirty-two percent screened positive for opioids, and of those, all but one were positive for tramadol. Ninety-eight percent reported problematic cannabis use. Significantly more opioid-positive patients also screened positive for other (noncannabis) drugs, compared to nonopioid users. Sixty-four percent fulfilled criteria of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders, other than substance use disorders according to MINI. Fifty-three percent met the symptom criteria count of ADHD above cut-off level. Conclusion. In the present setting, tramadol, along with high rates of cannabis use, may represent a novel pattern of substance use among young treatment-seeking subjects with problematic substance use and high rates of concurrent psychiatric problems.