Cancer patients are susceptible to severe levels of pain. They are at risk of developing non-medical opioids use (NMOU) behavior. These patients require universal screening, thorough follow-up, and reduced opioids exposure to reduce risk. This study aims to find the independent predictors and overall frequency of NMOU behavior.

The prognostic study involved 3615 cancer patients of MD Anderson Centre. Patients were excluded if they did not answer the appropriate questionnaire, or if they had no scheduled opioids treatment. Those who failed to follow-up within three months after initial consultations were not a part of the study. The eligibility criteria of 1554 selected patients were opioids intake for a 1-week minimum. Data analysis, Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale, CAGE-AID survey were used. Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain (SOAPP) were also done.

Out of 1554, there were 1124 men and 816 women. 219 patients had one or more NMOU behavior. The NMOU per patient median number was 1. About 77% or 576 of 45 NMOU happened by the first two follow-ups. 218 out of 745 came for inappropriate refills. SOAPP score was 7 or higher for 88 out of 299. Only 48 scored 2 out of 4 CAGE-AID survey points.

The prognostic study found 18% of patients with NMOU within eight weeks of consultation. SOAPP >7, marital status, higher pain severity, and morphine equivalent daily dose (MEDD) levels had association with NMOU, independently.