Review of deaths related to analgesic- and cough suppressant-opioids; England and Wales 1996-2002

  • Schifano F
  • Zamparutti G
  • Zambello F
 et al. 
  • 19


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 10


    Citations of this article.


OBJECTIVE: The data on England and Wales voluntarily supplied by Coroners to the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths for the August 1996-December 2002 time frame were analyzed. METHODS: All cases in which at least one analgesic- and cough suppressant-opioid other than heroin/morphine, methadone or buprenorphine was identified were extracted from the database. We hypothesized that: a) populations of addicts and non-addicts presented differences in patterns of drugs involved; and b) within the population of addicts and non-addicts, intentional and non-intentional deaths presented different patterns of substance consumption. RESULTS: A total of 2024 deaths related to selected opioids, either alone or in combination, were included in the analysis. Typically, non-addicts were older than 45 and died as a result of intentional poisoning whilst majority of addicts were young, males and victims of accidental deaths. In about 93% of cases the selected opioids were reported in combination with another substance. Most frequently identified narcotics were propoxyphene, codeine and dihydrocodeine. Co-proxamol, Co-codamol and Co-dydramol were typically prescribed for non-addicts, whilst dihydrocodeine was mostly given to addicts. In non-addicts, alcohol was mostly represented in accidental deaths and antidepressants were typically represented in intentional deaths. Conversely, illicit drugs and hypnotics/sedatives were typically reported in addicts' accidental deaths. CONCLUSIONS: The present report constitutes the largest available collection of analgesic- and cough suppressant-opioid mortality data in the UK. Users should be educated about risks associated with polydrug misuse.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Fabrizio Schifano

  • G. Zamparutti

  • F. Zambello

  • A. Oyefeso

  • P. Deluca

  • M. Balestrieri

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free