1 July 2019

Radboud researchers Kees Kramers (dept. of Pharmacology-Toxicology), Arnt Schellekens (dept. of Psychiatry), Femke Atsma (dept. of Epidemiology), Robert van Dongen (dept. of Anesthesiology, Pain and Palliative Care) and Henk Schers (dept. of Primariy and Community Care) have been granted 1.8 million euro by NWO as part of the call of the Nationale Wetenschaps Agenda, in collaboration with investigators of Leiden and Utrecht university medical center.

This consortium will perform a study called Tackling And Preventing The Opioid Epidemic, aimed at abuse of prescription opioids. In this consortium also societal parties will collaborate (KNMP, CBG, Trimbos and NIVEL). In addition, patient representative organizations also have a prominent place.

Currently prescription opioids have led to abuse, addiction and thousands of deaths in the USA. In the Netherlands the use of prescription opioids is rising. It is currently unclear whether the Netherlands will follow the USA. The consortium aims to perform epidemiological studies, studies on patients ideas, knowledge and preferences, precriber behavior and attitude. In addition interventions to prevent long term use and to treat long term users will be performed. Also alternatives for opioids will be explored and ready to use information material for patients and prescribers will be developed. All of these studies are aimed at preventing abuse, while assuring that patients who need opioids (for instance after surgery of in cancer patients) will still be treated appropriately.

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