Prescription Opioids Involved in Most ED Overdoses, Study Finds

Prescription opioid medications are involved in over 67% of overdose cases in emergency departments (EDs), according to a national study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study, Presentation of Prescription and Nonprescription Opioid Overdoses to US Emergency Departments," also found that many patients who overdosed shared common coexisting illnesses, including chronic mental, circulatory, and respiratory diseases, meaning those who prescribe opioids to patients with these conditions "should do so with care and counsel the patients,” a JAMA press release notes. The authors also indicated that the trends identified in this research can be a critical component for planning and implementing overdose prevention efforts, such as prescription monitoring programs and naloxone prescribing for at-risk patients.
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