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Opioid Abuse Is More Likely with Longer Term Prescriptions

6 years, 5 months ago

11982  0
Posted on Aug 31, 2017, 1 p.m.

Opioids show no discretion in regards to addiction, new study finds

The following news published recently in the Journal of Pain and reviewed here is just one more piece of evidence of how addictive opioids are for the general population. A new study states what we believe to have been self-evident for as many years as Opiates have been used both recreationally and medically; that is, the more one uses them, the more addicted one becomes. There is little evidence as to gender, age, or ethnicity for addiction. Granted there are a few (epi)genetically abnormal people that can’t tolerate opiates or narcotics in any form. However, for the majority of the population this is not true. Many practitioners have known this for decades, and that is why they are often referred to as “stingy” when it comes to prescribing pain meds. Most acute pain resolves in a week or less and patients can be switched to OTC NSAIDS.

In the news weekly and sometimes daily that we see and hear that we are in the worst opioid and narcotic crisis we have ever faced in the US. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease control) Morphine, OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin (hydrocodone) are the most popular culprits and killed more than 33,000 people in 2015-2016; 2017 statistics are predicted to be much worse. A pharmaceutical study at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences examined 2006-2015 medical records for 1.3 million people who were prescribed opioids for the first time and discovered these alarming statistics. Senior study author Bradley Martin says, “Doctors should prescribe for the minimum numbers of days” … “A short-term painkiller prescription is less likely to lead to opioid use disorder than a longer supply of pain pills.” When the researchers say “short-term,” they really mean it. The difference between a two-day supply and a seven-day supply results in double the likelihood that a person could become addicted. Martin and his team concluded from over ten years of records review, that "the days supplied is far more important than the dosage level or even the type of pain being treated."

Of course, the most predictive tests are in epigenetic in nature. Testing for sensitivity to certain drugs as well as informing both the patient and the doctors as to which meds should and should not be used in a given patient can be of extraordinary value in predicting safety, type, and dosage for a given patient with a unique set of genetic markers.

“People with chronic pain compared to people who just had surgery are about 25 percent more likely to continue using opioids," Martin said in a university news release. "Clearly, people with chronic pain are more likely to be long-term opioid users." “Doctors might reduce the odds for addiction by prescribing shorter courses of painkiller medication, the researchers said.” His conclusion: use "the minimum effective opioid dose and duration to reduce unintended long-term use." "Comparing someone who has a one- or two-day supply of opioids with someone who has a week's supply, the risk of use doubles," Martin said. "This is something clinicians can easily modify when they prescribe opioids."

Dr. Michael J. Koch, Editor with and for Dr. Ronald Klatz, DO, MD President of the A4M has 28,000 Physician Members, has trained over 150,000 Physicians, health professionals and scientists in the new specialty of Anti-aging medicine. Estimates of their patients numbering in the 100’s of millions World Wide that are living better stronger, healthier and longer lives. A4M physicians are now providing advanced preventative medical care for over 100 Million individuals worldwide who now recognize that aging is no longer inevitable.

For more about opioid use, visit the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

SOURCE: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, news release, Aug. 16, 2017

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