International perspectives on opioids, pain and addiction

On 18/09/19 the Drugs Research Network for Scotland held an international symposium on Opiods, Pain, Dependence and Harms.

The aims of this event were to:

  • Share learning and emerging findings from the USA and England with colleagues in Scotland.
  • Discuss how this learning can inform Scottish policy and practice.
  • Explore the potential for subsequent Scottish academic and clinical research, including international collaborations with colleagues from Penn University and England.

Event report


(To access slides please email

Opioid-induced Hyperalgesia & Opioid Use Disorders: the Science and the Myths. Dr Peggy Compton, Associate Professor of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania.

Pain, Substance Abuse and Suicide: Epidemiology, Risk Assessment and Mitigation
Dr Marty Cheatle, Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania.

The extent and nature of opioid analgesic dependence in primary care
Dr Richard Cooper, Senior Lecturer in Public Health, University of Sheffield.

Exploring acceptability and feasibility of an overdose intervention for individuals prescribed strong opioids for chronic non-cancer pain
Dr Tessa Parkes (TP), Centre Director, Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research (SACASR),
Dr Rebecca Foster (RF), Research Fellow, SACASR and Deborah Steven (DS), Lead Pharmacist, Fife Pain Management Service.

Promoting Self-management
Sonia Cottom, Director, Pain Association Scotland.


Dr Peggy Compton

Dr Compton explores the phenomena of opioid-induced hyperalgesia and addiction in patients on opioid therapy for the treatment of chronic pain.  Her current work with chronic pain patients evaluates deprescribing strategies, determine if managed tapering results in improved pain perception, and evaluate the role of responsible opioid prescribing to minimise untoward outcomes in this population.  Dr Compton’s work is grounded in her neuropsychiatric nursing practice in addiction and pain treatment settings and involves the testing and refinement of a novel nursing theory that pain and opiate addiction are interrelated phenomena co-expressed in unique human life responses.

Dr Marty Cheatle

Dr Cheatle specializes in the evaluation and treatment of chronic pain disorders from a biopsychosocial perspective and has been involved in extensive research into pain management and addiction in vulnerable populations (HIV/AIDS, psychiatric patients) and into pain and suicidal ideation and behaviour.
Dr Cheatle recently completed a NIH-funded 5-year longitudinal study of the development of addiction in patients initiating prescription opioid therapy for chronic pain. He is currently Principal Investigator of a NIH/NIDA grant assessing phenotypic and genotypic markers of prescription opioid abuse. 

Dr Richard Cooper

Dr Cooper is Programme Director of the Master of European Public Health degree at the University of Sheffield and has a background as a community pharmacist and a PhD in the ethics of healthcare. His research uses qualitative and mixed methods and covers a range of health service research topics but particularly the role of medicines, and their supply and particularly misuse.He recently completed a national survey to establish the prevalence of opioid analgesic dependence in the primary care setting in England for non-cancer patients along with patient and prescriber interviews about opioid analgesic use and pain management.