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The use of narcotics in back pain.


During the last decade between 2001-03 and 2011-13, narcotic use has been doubled in high income countries with Australia being only second to the USA in increased narcotic use. While it is clear there is an urgent need for innovative and cost-effective interventions for low back pain, these are currently limited and there is widespread concern regarding the increasing use of narcotics to manage back pain. This is associated with significant side effects, including deaths. The aim of this study is to examine the use of narcotics in those with back pain, joint pain/stiffness and bodily pain (measured by SF 36) and to explore the determinants of narcotic use including age, weight and psychosocial factors.