Almost 30 Percent of Fatal Opioid Overdoses Also Involve Benzodiazepines

Almost 30 Percent of Fatal Opioid Overdoses Also Involve Benzodiazepines
Nearly 30 percent of fatal opioid overdoses also involve benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Valium or Klonopin, researchers at Stanford University have found. “It’s not news that this combination is not a good one, but despite being well known, it’s gone up over time, and more people are ending up in the hospital because of it,” lead researcher Dr. Eric Sun said. “Patients and doctors really need to think twice about this combination.” The findings come from a study of data from more than 300,000 patients who were prescribed a narcotic painkiller between 2001 and 2013, HealthDay reports. The researchers report in BMJ that 9 percent of those patients also had prescriptions for benzodiazepines in 2001. By 2013, that had risen to 17 percent. The findings raise the possibility that some of the increase in opioid-related deaths might be caused by increases in concurrent benzodiazepine/opioid use, the researchers wrote.
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Hospital Admissions For Opioid Overdoses Rose 64 Percent in Past Decade

Hospital Admissions For Opioid Overdoses Rose 64 Percent in Past Decade
Hospital admissions due to overdoses from heroin and other opioids increased 64 percent between 2005 and 2014, HealthDay reports. Over that period, hospital stays related to opioid overdoses increased from 137 per 100,000 people to 225 per 100,000. The findings come from a new report by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report. Overdoses required at least 70 percent more hospital beds between 2009 and 2014 in North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington. The report found in 2014, Maryland, the District of Columbia, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and West Virginia each reported rates exceeding 300 per 100,000 people—far above the national average.
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