Interesting bit on Opioids

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There is a lot in the news about opioid addiction rising in the general population. Turns out this is Fake News - it is not the general population at all. From Kaiser Health News:

Patients With Mental Disorders Get Half Of All Opioid Prescriptions
Adults with a mental illness receive more than 50 percent of the 115 million opioid prescriptions in the United States annually, according to a study released Monday. The results prompted researchers to suggest that improving pain management for people with mental health problems “is critical to reduce national dependency on opioids.”

People with mental health disorders represent 16 percent of the U.S. population.

The findings are worrisome, the researchers reported. They had expected that physicians were more conservative in prescribing these painkillers to people with mental illness.

“We are prescribing way too much opioids,” said Dr. Brian Sites, an anesthesiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire and one of the study’s researchers. “And that prescription behavior is resulting in significant morbidity in the country.”

Morbidity is the medical term for kicking the bucket - in this case via overdose. Why prescribe?

“The opioids are prescribed primarily for pain,” but patients with mental illness find that the drugs alleviate their mental issues too, said Dr. Edwin Salsitz, an attending physician in the Division of Chemical Dependency of Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in New York who was not involved in the study. And this, he said, is what can lead to long-term use.

And there you go - America's heroin problem wrapped up in a neat package with a little bow on the top. Prescribing opioids is the easy way to alleviate the symptoms of mental illness. I am surprised that these people only constitute 16 percent of the total population - there are a lot more registered Democrats out there... (rimshot)

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on June 27, 2017 12:51 PM.

About that minimum wage - a new study was the previous entry in this blog.

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