Drug Addiction, Substance Abuse  |  January 14, 2016

Think about this one….

A patient being prescribed opioid painkillers for pain, overdoses and is hospitalized.

What would you expect to see happen next?

  1. The patient would be referred to addiction treatment specialists
  2. The patient’s physician would stop prescribing painkillers
  3. The patient would continue to receive prescriptions for the drug that caused the overdose

If you answered (c), you would be correct.

According to brand new research[1] published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 91% of patients who overdosed on a prescription painkiller continued to receive prescriptions for that painkiller – and 70% received these continuing prescriptions from the same provider that provided the drugs before the overdose.

Sound crazy?

It is.

What’s more – at two years follow-up, patients who continued taking high doses of painkilling drugs after their initial overdose were twice as likely to have overdosed again.

Living with chronic pain is tough – of that there is no question. But opioid painkilling drugs are not the only option for relief – in fact, they are a dangerous and highly addictive option. And they are an option that all too often leads to further addictions including addiction to heroin – as current data shows.

Safer options for battling chronic pain

There are in fact many safer alternatives to pain management including the following:

Many who live in pain think drug addiction could never happen to them. The truth is this new class of opioid drugs is not just dangerous, these drugs are truly powerfully addictive. Talk to your doctor about your pain – and explore every other option diligently before considering opioids. They should serve as an option of


last resort only and used with extreme caution.

If you or someone you know is battling with addiction to painkillers – there are new tools to help you win the fight. Contact the Recovery Specialists at Aware Recovery Care to learn more – before it is too late. www.awarerecoverycare.com

[1] http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2479117

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