“Nearly 60 percent of patients on opioid pain treatments for long-term conditions were prescribed potentially dangerous mixtures of medications during the same time period, according to a report released December 9th by Express Scripts. Two-thirds of patients on these medication mixtures were prescribed the drugs by two or more physicians, and nearly 40 percent filled their prescriptions at more than one pharmacy.
The new report, A Nation in Pain, provides a comprehensive analysis of the use of prescription opioid medications – such as codeine, morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone – in the U.S. between 2009 and 2013.
Among those taking dangerous drug mixtures last year, nearly one in three patients were on both an opiate and an anti-anxiety benzodiazepine, a combination that is the most common cause of multiple drug overdose deaths. Approximately 28 percent of opioid users were taking a muscle relaxant. Eight percent were combining an opioid, muscle relaxant and a benzodiazepine – a popular combination among pill mills known as the “Houston Cocktail.” Additionally, 27 percent were taking multiple opiate pain treatments simultaneously.”
Source: CNN.com – December 9, 2014