“Opioid painkiller addiction and accidental overdoses have become far too common across the United States. To try to identify who is most at risk, Mayo Clinic researchers studied how many patients prescribed an opioid painkiller for the first time progressed to long-term prescriptions. The answer: 1 in 4. People with histories of tobacco use and substance abuse were likeliest to use opioid painkillers long-term.
The findings are published in the July issue of the medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Discovering who is likeliest to end up using the drugs long-term is critically important due to the widespread problems associated with their misuse.
Researchers used the National Institutes of Health-funded Rochester Epidemiology Project to get a random sample of 293 patients who received a new prescription in 2009 for an opioid painkiller such as oxycodone, morphine, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, meperidine, codeine and methadone.
They found that 21 percent, or 61 people, progressed from short-term use to prescriptions lasting three to four months, and 6 percent, or 19, of the 293 studied ended up with more than a four-month supply of the drugs.
Source: Sanluisobispo.com – July 23, 2015