ubmslatePT-logo-ubm

PT Mobile Logo

Search form

Topics:

Opioid Analgesics: The Myths—and the Facts

Opioid Analgesics: The Myths—and the Facts

During the past several years, there has been increasing focus on opioid analgesics. Opioid use disorder related to prescription opioid analgesics is considered to be at epidemic proportions in the US. Moreover, it has been widely asserted that the overprescription of these drugs has resulted in the growing use of heroin.

In fact, we know relatively little about the causes of this crisis—and even less about the patients who run into problems with prescription opioids that were originally prescribed for legitimate pain complaints. The following questions seek to separate what we actually know about opioid analgesics and their use and misuse from what we don’t.

 

1.True or false? A significant number of patients treated with prescription opioid analgesics for pain turn to heroin when their opioid analgesics are discontinued.

A. True

B. False

 

Discussion: Although there are frequent reports that any limits on the prescribing of opioid analgesics to patients with pain will result in their using heroin if these drugs are discontinued, virtually no research supports this. Even among people who use prescription opioids for nonmedical reasons, only a small minority also use heroin.1

Answer: B. False

 

2. True or false? The recent increase in heroin use in the US has resulted from increasing restrictions on the prescribing ofopioid analgesics.

A. True

B. False

 

Discussion: Research shows that the increasing use of heroin in the US began before the newer restrictions on the prescribing of opioid analgesics were instituted.1

Answer: B. False

Pages

 
Loading comments...

By clicking Accept, you agree to become a member of the UBM Medica Community.