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Opioid use disorders national registries and opioids sales registries: A 10-year prevalence study from a middle-income country

Daniela Yucumá, MD, Ana Beatriz Pizarro, RN, Diego Alberto Moreno, MD, Juan David Mosos, MD, Marian Rincón-Montaña, MD, Diego Rosselli, MD


Objectives: (1) To estimate the prevalence, geographic distribution, and demographic characteristics of patients diagnosed with mental and behavioral disorders due to the use of opioids in Colombia, between 2009 and 2018. (2) To describe the opioid sales trends in Colombia over the last few years.

Methods: We conducted an observational study analyzing information from Individual National Registry of Health Services and the Colombian official database for pharmaceuticals prices and quantities sold. The included ICD-10 codes were mental and behavioral disorders due to the use of opioids (F11) codes subdivisions.

Results: 12,557 cases of mental and behavioral disorders due to opioid use were reported, with a rate of 3.0 per 100,000 inhabitants for the studied period. Men represented 74.2 percent, with a male:female ratio of 2.9:1. The highest prevalence was found between 20 and 24 years, in the northwest Colombian area. A progressive increase in the total number of opioid units sold during the study period was found, and the most frequently sold opioids were tramadol (55 percent) and codeine (20 percent).

Conclusions: Recognition of opioid use disorders has increased in the last 10 years; it affects more males than females, mostly young adults, and is higher in certain affluent regions of Colombia. We found a progressive annual increase in the sales of opioids in the country, which could be related to the increase in the rate of registries. Studies that have analyzed opioid abuse in Latin America are limited, and further studies are needed to evaluate this situation in middle-income countries from the region.


opioids, opioid use disorder, mental disorder, behavioral disorder

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