Survey: Nearly 60% of Adults Who Engage in Misuse Of Painkillers Do So Without Prescription
Recent research has found that nearly 60% of adults who report misusing opioids did not have a prescription. Also, over 40% of those were people who obtained the drug from friends or family members.
The data was gathered in a questionnaire by the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health and was recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The survey was taken online by over 51,000 U.S. residents over the age of 12.
The study objective:
“To estimate the prevalence of prescription opioid use, misuse, and use disorders and motivations for misuse among U.S. adults.”
Also, their responses revealed other troubling facts about the opioid epidemic. For example, more than one-third (around 38%) of adults had used an opioid painkiller, or 91.8 million.
Over 12% of those using a prescription opioid reported having engaged in misuse of painkillers, and of these, nearly 17% reported an opioid use disorder. Researchers noted that those most likely to abuse opioids were unemployed, were not high-income, had behavioral health problems, and were not covered by health insurance.
Most (nearly two-thirds) of the people who reported misusing opioids stated pain relief as the reason Other conditions related to mental, such as anxiety, were also given as reasons for the opioid misuse.
The report also stressed that there’s a serious need for health care provider to implement better methods of evaluating patients’ pain levels and to assess correctly when an opioid prescription is completely necessary.
Experts from federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health, have been collaborating to create new strategies to pain treatment, with the intention of reducing the number of self-medication people whose behavior leads to addiction.
~G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology