Study Suggests Need for Improved Access to Evidence-Based Pain Management

Pain
More than one third of adults nationwide reported prescription opioid use in 2015, with substantial numbers reporting misuse and use disorders, according to a report compiled to estimate the prevalence of, and explore the motivations for, opioid use and misuse. The data showed that pain relief was most commonly cited as the reason for the misuse of opioids and that close to half of those who misused obtained them free from a family member or friend. According to the study, based on data collected from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, close to 92 million people (38 percent) used prescription opioids in the prior year. Of these, about 11.5 million misused the drugs, and 1.9 million had an opioid use disorder. Most people (63.4 percent) who misused these medications reported doing so to relieve physical pain. About 41 percent who misused opioids obtained them for free from...
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People With Anxiety and Depression Have High Rate of Prescription Opioid Use

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People with anxiety and depression have a high rate of prescription opioid use, a new study finds. Almost 19 percent of the estimated 38.6 million people diagnosed with anxiety and depression received at least two prescriptions for opioids in one year, the study found. More than half of opioid prescriptions went to people with these mental health disorders, according to The Washington Post. People with anxiety and depression may feel pain more acutely, or may be less able to cope with the pain, leading to increased requests for opioids, said lead researcher Brian Sites of Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. Pain that “you may report as a two out of 10, someone with mental health disorders — depression, anxiety — may report as a 10 out of 10,” Sites told the newspaper. He added that opioids may improve the symptoms of depression for a short while. This may lead patients...
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Opioid Use Among Teens Decreasing, Studies Suggest

Opioid Use Among Teens Decreasing, Studies Suggest
Opioid use is declining among high school seniors, a new study suggests. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics , looked at prescription opioid use nationwide among high school seniors from 1976 to 2015. Teens were asked whether a doctor had ever prescribed them opioids, and how often they had taken prescription opioids without a doctor’s instruction. About one-fourth of seniors said they had used opioids at least once for any reason, NPR reports. The study found opioid use in this age group rose in the 1980s, decreased in the 1990s and increased in the early 2000s, before dropping again starting in 2013. “It is our hope that these declines are due to careful prescribing practices and enhanced monitoring of prescription opioids among adolescents that will eventually translate to a reduction in negative opioid-related consequences, such as overdoses,” said lead author Sean Esteban McCabe of the University of Michigan Substance...
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