Even Small Quantities of Opioids Prescribed for Minor Injuries Increase Risk of Long-Term Use

Last Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017

(HealthNewsDigest.com, May 18) – Doctors who overprescribe opioid pills to patients could be playing a part in addiction and the high number of drug-related deaths in the United States, according to research.

Many are prescribing painkillers to people with ankle sprains – a relatively minor injury. According to research from the University of Pennsylvania, people who received their first opioid painkiller prescription for an ankle sprain in U.S. hospitals typically got prescriptions of between 15 to 40 pills. The patients who received 30 or more pills were more likely to fill an additional prescription within three to six months than a patient prescribed 15 pills.

Researchers say the study highlights the need for policies and guidelines addressing when opioids should be prescribed for minor injuries and to cut down the amount of pills prescribed.  Read more.

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