BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that the probability that a person should become a chronic user of opioids increases greatly only after five days of use. Also, an opioid refill also increases the chances of becoming addicted.
Anuj Shah, researcher at CDC, discovered that people with commercial insurances who are opioid-naïve are more likely to become addicted to these substances if they receive a second prescription of opioids or a refill. Also, an equivalent of a dose of 700 milligrams of morphine might have the same effect.
Long-term use of opioids can get the patients addicted
Researchers developed a study on the subject which was published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. They found that only 6 percent of the people who followed opioid therapy for one day were still using them after a year. However, the percentages increased for people who underwent such a therapy for at least 8 days (13.5 percent) and for those who had a 31-day treatment (29.9 percent).
They think that doctors should warn people about the effect of a long-term use of opioids for pain management, as there is common among patients who receive refills or a second prescription to continue using the drugs even after a year.
For the study, the researchers used data from IMS Lifelink+ from 2006 to 2015. They found 1,294,247 adults who had received at least one prescription and who continued for at least six months to take the medication without a prescription after they first received the drug.
They discovered that 2.6 percent of participants continued the treatment even after a year. They were more likely to be female, older, to have a pain diagnosis prior to receiving an opioid prescription, and to be used to take higher doses of the drug.
Certain opioid types are more likely to cause addiction
The drugs with higher risks of continued use are long-acting opioids (27.3 percent probability at one-year use, 20.5 percent at three-year use), tramadol (13.7 percent – one year, 6.8 percent – three years), and some short-acting opioids, other than oxycodone or hydrocodone (8.9 percent – one year, 5.3 percent – three years).
Shah and his research colleagues hope that this information would guide doctors when they prescribe opioids and would make people aware that long-term use of such drugs might have permanent effects on their health.
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