The duration of a prescription may give clues into how long a person ends up using a narcotic painkiller, a new study finds.
The study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report finds that when you use a narcotic painkiller for just one day, you have only a 6 percent chance of still using that drug a year later. But when that prescription is for eight or more days, your likelihood of using the drug a year later jumps to 13.5 percent. And although just less than 7 percent of all prescriptions exceed a month's dosage, using for 31 days or more increases your chances of long-term opioid use to 29.9 percent.
“The initial prescription a clinician writes has a pretty profound impact on a person’s [likelihood] for being a long-term opioid user,” said Bradley Martin, co-author of the study and head of the Division...
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