Public Sees Opioid Abuse as Major Health Concern
the Psychiatry Advisor take:
As opioid addiction remains a growing issue, a new poll indicates that a majority of Americans believe abuse of prescription painkiller drugs is a serious health concern
Colleen L. Barry, PhD, MPP, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and colleagues found that 58% of respondents said prescription pain med abuse was either a very serious or extremely serious health issue. This is on par with other public health issues, such as tobacco use and gun violence.
The study, which was published in the journal Addiction, was based on an online survey of 1,111 adults conducted in 2014. The aim was to better understand the public’s views about painkiller use and abuse.
Interestingly, most respondents say those who abuse painkillers and the doctors who prescribe them are responsible for the current public health crisis. And a majority believe physicians keep patients on meds for too long, it is very easy for patients to get multiple pain med scripts and too many patients don’t understand how easy it is to become addicted.
Rx painkillers resulted in about 475,000 hospital ER visits a year and the economic costs of misusing these drugs were estimated in 2006 at $50 billion in lost productivity, crime and medical costs.
Fifty-eight percent of poll respondents said prescription pain med abuse was either a very serious or extremely serious health issue.
More than one in four Americans has taken prescription painkillers in the past year, even as a majority say that abuse of these medications is a very serious public health concern, according to new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research.
Roughly seven in 10 Americans have been prescribed the medications in their lifetime and 17 percent say they have taken painkillers prescribed for someone else, the researchers found in what they believe is the first national public opinion study on this topic.
The findings, published online in the journal Addiction, suggest that the public may be poised to support a number of policy measures designed to control what has become an epidemic of abuse, including instituting better medical training in controlling pain and treating addiction, requiring doctors to ensure patients don't receive multiple painkiller prescriptions from different providers and requiring pharmacists to check identification before distributing pain prescriptions.
Sign Up for Free e-newsletters
Psychiatry Advisor Articles
- Role of Expressed Emotion in Family Psychopathology
- Serum Uric Acid May Predict Bipolar Disorder in Patients With Depression
- Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is Effective Treatment for Adolescent Anxiety
- Health and Social Factors Predict Changes in Depressive Symptoms in Women
- ASD Risk on Offspring With Prenatal Use of Medication Affecting Neurotransmitter System
- Cannabis Use, Cannabis Use Disorder Linked to Psychotic, Depressive Symptoms
- Association Between Opioid and Benzodiazepine Misuse and Suicidal Ideation
- The Intersection of Eating and Alcohol Disorders: Detecting and Managing "Drunkorexia"
- Heart Rate Variability Predicts Treatment Response in Anxious Depression
- Impulsivity in Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, ADHD
- Efficacy, Safety of Long-Term Ketamine Administration Still In Question
- Vulnerability to Psychosocial Disability in Psychosis
- Behavioral Health Screening Advocated for Teens With Epilepsy
- KCNQ Channel Potentiator Ezogabine Delivers Promising Results in Major Depressive Disorder
- Increase Seen in Amphetamine, Opioid Use in Pregnant Women