Study Finds That Rate of Prescribing For Prescription Pain Medications Has Slowed, While Dangerous Multi-Drug Use Has Not
“Although the U.S. may have passed the peak in use and abuse of prescription opioids (pain medications), recent studies show no decline in the co-prescribing of opioid pain medications and sedatives whose interaction can slow breathing and dramatically raise the risk of overdose death.
“Multidrug use is the trailing edge of the opioid epidemic,” said Mark Sullivan, M.D., Ph.D, a UW professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the executive director of COPE for Chronic Pain CME at the UW School of Medicine. “We are making progress on decreasing opioid prescribing, but co-prescribing of opioids and sedatives has not decreased.”
This is important, he says, because most prescription opioid deaths commonly involve alcohol, sedatives, and/or illicit drugs such as heroin. But the most fatal combination is opioids and common benzodiazepines, which are medications prescribed for depression, anxiety and sleep. A leading pain research specialist, Sullivan provided commentary, “What are we treating with opioid and sedative-hypnotic combination therapy?” in the August 2015 issue of the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.”
Read more at: http://www.coperems.org/press-release-august-5-2015/
Source: Cope For Chronic Pain Press Release – August 5, 2015