Dynamic Thinking Approach of Non-medical Use of Pharmaceutical Opioids

Document Type: Research article


1 Department of Phamaeconomics, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Industrial Management, School of Management and Economics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Management,,School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


The unsteady increase in using pharmaceutical opioids is a phenomenon that has existed in human societies for a long time. Furthermore, the ever-growing trend of addiction to opioids affects communities in various economic, social, and cultural aspects. Since abusing pharmaceutical opioids is a complex dynamic problem, it is extremely difficult to recognize the factors influencing this abuse. Thus, applying such dynamic models as system dynamics (SD) plays an important role in addressing these complex dynamic problems. System dynamics model falls in two categories of qualitative and quantitative system dynamics.
In this paper, causal loop diagrams (CLDs), which are conceptual qualitative stages were applied, and variables were elicited from literatures; then, the initial CLDs were generated, and afterward, some experts were interviewed in order for the CLDs model to be evaluated. Ultimately, a meeting was held for discussing the variables and validating the diagrams. In this study, variables are connected by causal relationships called reinforcing and balancing. Then, the CLD model clearly depicted how the variables interact with one another in different stages of the process. The CLDs model is a fundamental issue in developing quantitative system dynamic, assisting policymakers in forecasting the process of non-medical use of pharmaceutical opioids and finding some measures to reduce their usage.


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