Many pharmacists are not using monitoring systems designed to reduce prescription drug abuse, a study of Maine pharmacists suggests. The study found only 56 percent of those surveyed used their state system.
Almost 10 million Americans say they misused opioid medications in 2012-2013, according to a new study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Nonmedical use of prescription opioids more than doubled over a 10-year period, the study found.
A growing number of older adults are becoming addicted to opioid painkillers, The New York Times reports. They are using the pills to deal with the aches and pains of aging and the anxiety that can come with retirement.
A New Jersey hospital emergency department has been treating pain with alternative regimens, in an attempt to reduce opioid use. The treatments include non-narcotic infusions and injections, ultrasound guided nerve blocks, laughing gas, and “energy healing,” according to The New York Times.
Many patients who have undergone knee or hip replacement surgery are still taking prescription opioid painkillers up to six months after the operation, a new study finds. Some patients continue to use potentially addictive pain medications even though their hip or knee pain has improved, the findings suggest.
Drug management programs that require at-risk individuals to use designated pharmacies or physicians for opioid prescriptions can protect patients from using harmful amounts of opioids while ensuring they still receive appropriate amounts of pain medication, according to the lead author of a new report on the programs.
Opioid abuse could be costing U.S. employers up to $8 billion annually, according to a report by the benefits firm Castlight Health. Employees who abuse opioids cost employers almost twice as much in healthcare expenses on average, compared with workers who don’t abuse opioids, the report found.