The American Journal of Psychiatry published what it calls the “largest study of opioid deaths”. Researchers started with 13 thousand adults, under the age of 65, enrolled in Medicaid who died of an overdose between 2001 and 2007. The research was conducted by the Columbia University Medical Center.
Researchers found that about two-thirds of those who died had been diagnosed with non-cancer chronic pain and prescribed an opioid. Many had also been afflicted with depression or anxiety.
Lead investigator, Dr. Mark Olfosn, says the study results show that there is an opportunity for clinical intervention, whereby professionals who treat chronic pain or mental health issues could pair those services with substance abuse treatment.
The group was more likely to have filled prescriptions for both opioids and anti-anxiety benzodiazepines. When taken improperly, these meds can cause respiratory depression and are the primary cause of death in most fatal opioid overdoses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999. From 1999 to 2015 more than 183,000 people have died from overdoses related to prescription opioids. Everyday, over 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing opioids. Roughly 64,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2016 and the problem continues to worsen in 2017.
Our Note: Families Anonymous offers group meetings around the country for family members of addicted individuals. People share coping skills, enabling, the affect on the family unit and provide essential support for loved ones. Engaging a mental health professional while attending FA meetings helps many people navigate through this most difficult time. Check out FA on line at: www.familiesanonymous.org
Source: Gary R’nel
Disclaimer: Please note: The editorial content of this page is in no way intended to be professional advice. It should be considered informational and a venue for entertainment purposes. Read and utilize at your own discretion. Content may not be published without the expressed consent of Associated Billing Center, LLC.