Hospital Treatment Rates for Heroin Surge While Rates for Prescription Opioids Drop

emergency room hospital

Hospital treatment rates for heroin rose more than 31 percent between 2008 and 2014, while treatment rates for prescription opioids have declined, according to a new study.

Hospital discharge rates for prescription opioid poisonings decreased each year by about 5 percent between 2010 and 2014, the study found.

Lead researcher Tina Hernandez-Boussard of Stanford University said the results provide evidence that people addicted to prescription opioids are turning to heroin because it is cheaper and easier to get, HealthDay reports.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that prescribing clinicians are positively reacting to the opioid crisis and therefore prescription opioids are contributing less to the overall drug epidemic,” Dr. Hernandez –Boussard said in a news release.

The findings are published in Health Affairs.

Heroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now seeing a sharp rise as well. More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by Rx painkillers.

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    Rachael K Perrin

    October 9, 2017 at 2:50 PM

    Where does this leave the chronic pain patient? Nobody seems to want to touch this issue and there is a lot of finger pointing. Taking away treatment is inhumane and most are not addicts.

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      Al Bunter

      October 14, 2017 at 12:40 AM

      Exactly, where does it leave these victims of collateral damage? Until a person has experienced chronic pain it is unlikely they will be sympathetic to this living nightmare that takes the enjoyment of life itself away from the CPP. It’s easy to pass judgement, make laws and put fear into Dr’s tasked with prescribing what I consider life saving pain medication to people who suffer 7×24 with pain. Imagine having a toothache that wont stop hurting, different than the pain I am talking about but easier for a majority of people to understand. The way the war on opiates is heading I can imagine the outright ban of a majority of these medications with no regard for the silent suffering that will be endured.

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