Opioid Risk Tool Self Assessment

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Opioid Risk Tool Self Assessment

The Opioid Risk Tool (ORT) is a five-question assessment developed to predict which patients may develop opioid addiction or engage in abuse. The prediction is based on known risk factors associated with these behaviors.

The ORT can be completed in a clinical environment, or can be self-administered.

The ORT can either be self-administered. Of course, this tool is not perfect. Opioids are potentially addictive drugs, and there is no surefire method of predicting exactly who will abuse or become addicted, and who will not.

However, it does allow the patient to be placed a risk category, and this placement has shown to be fairly accurate.

In a study of 185 patients with chronic pain, the ORT revealed itself to be apt at predicting opioid abuse-related behaviors.

For example, most low-risk patients (94%) did not display any such behaviors, and most high-risk patients (91%) did display these behaviors.

The purpose of the opioid risk tool is not to necessarily deny high-risk patients medication. Rather, it’s purpose is to identify those at high-risk, and consider alternatives, as well as monitoring appropriate to the risk level.

About the Opioid Risk Tool

The three risk levels are as follows:

  • Low Risk (0-3)
  • Medium Risk (4-7)
  • High Risk (8 or above)

The score is calculated using a gender-specific total from 10 weighted items, which are actually only 5 per gender. These include:

  • Family history of substance abuse
  • Personal history of substance abuse
  • Age
  • History of pre-adolescent sexual abuse
  • Psychological Disease

These factors address genetics as well as social environment. They were selected based on an extensive review of scientific literature. The risk of opioid abuse increases as do the number of positive responses.

The ORT was developed by Dr. Lynn Webster. The tool is not intended to judge, but if answered honestly, can help you and your health care provider decide which opioids (if any) are appropriate to use for chronic pain.

Using The Opioid Risk Tool

The questionnaire is very simple and can be scored in under a minute.

You can print off the opioid risk tool here, or just use a pencil and paper to jot down your answers.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

Related: 8 Celebrities Who Died of An Opiate Overdose

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