CDC Point To Rapid Opioid Addiction
A Newsweek article addresses a finding by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) which indicates individuals receiving an opioid prescription can develop an opioid dependency “within a few days of initial use”.
The associated study was conducted at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and was based on examination of patient records from 2006 to 2015. This represented a total of 1.3 million citizens who received an opioid prescription, but who had never been previously diagnosed with a substance use disorder.
The study found that the transition from initial opioid use to chronic use begins very early on. “Even a one-day opioid prescription carried a 6% risk of use one year later and a 2.9% risk of use three years later.” The study found that people who were given an 8-day initial prescription were 13.5% likely to be using them in one year.
This led researchers to conclude that prescribing physicians should be vigilant in their prescription practices and provide no more medication than is necessary for treating a patient’s presenting pain. The article states “Physicians and patients need to discuss the pain management strategy early on.”
Also emphasized in the Newsweek piece was the importance of not leaving prescription medication around following use, and being sure to discard it appropriately.