Prevalence of Pregabalin (Lyrica) Abuse among Healthcare Professionals in Asser Province Saudi Arabia
Abstract Introduction: Substance use disorders among healthcare professionals (HCPs) adversely affect the HCPs ability to perform their duties. No previous researches that have examined the prevalence of pregabalin abuse among HCPs. Our study aimed to assess prevalence of pregabalin abuse among HCPs in Asser province of Saudi Arabia and its associated factors. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among HCPs (n=372) in three main hospitals in Asser region, southern Saudi Arabia using an English online survey questionnaire which was developed by the researchers after intensive literature review and using the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; APA, 2013) criteria for the pregabalin use disorder. Results: Most of the participants were young (25.6 ± 9.5 years), married males with mean experience of 8.1 ± 10.6 years. About 43.4% of the studied sample were physicians whereas paramedical staff, nurses and pharmacists constituted 29%, 17.7%, 9.7%, respectively. The utilization rate was 11.6% of the sampled staff, and non-prescribed among 48.9% of pregabalin users. The prevalence of pregabalin abuse among the studied sample was 0.06%. Almost, 61.9% of abusers were males, 52% (p=0.030) of them were less than 30-year-old, 57.1% (p=0.049) paramedical staff, on the other hand other factors including job experience and marital status had no relation with pregabalin abuse. Approximately 42.9% of abusers use it for stress management with recorded statistical significance (p=0.005) and 52% abused more than one drug at a time (p>0.05). Conclusion: This is the first study examined the prevalence of pregabalin abuse among HCPs. Our findings confirmed previous studies examining the pregabalin abuse potential and substance use disorder among HCPs. Solid regulations are substantial for prescribing pregabalin among HCPs.