The drug crisis around the United States has prompted researchers to look into where most opioid prescriptions come from. Many people have theorized that emergency rooms are the leading pipeline of these dangerous prescriptions that may ultimately cause addiction.
However, a new study completed by the University of Southern California identified that opioid prescriptions don’t often come from doctors in the emergency rooms. In fact, the study identified that nearly all opioid prescriptions across the United States are written in traditional doctors’ offices.
Lawmakers are currently evaluating methods to cut down on opioid abuse as cities and states around the country grapple with the impact of the addiction and its cost to the health care system.
The opioid prescription study was published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine and determined that from 1996 and 2012, the number of opioid prescriptions given in physicians’ offices increased from 71 percent up to 83 percent. Opioid prescriptions in emergency rooms over the same time, however, dropped from 7.4 percent to 4.4 percent.
One hypothesis associated with the opioid crisis in the United States has been that people are visiting one emergency room after another in order to get prescriptions for painkillers to manage their addiction.
However, emergency room opioid prescriptions make up a relatively small percentage of overall opioid prescriptions across the country.
Doctors’ offices are the primary source through which many people are receiving their pain medication prescriptions, according to this study.
People looking for an opioid prescription, it turns out, are more likely to head into a doctor’s office rather than trying to allege pain in the emergency room.
While more physicians have become aware of common tactics used by those addicted to or selling pain medications, the future focus may need to be on curbing doctor’s office-based scripts. Nearly 88 percent of high risk opioid users are obtaining their prescriptions directly from doctors’ offices.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shared the latest details associated with the opioid crisis in the United States indicating that 42,000 people died in 2016 because of opioid abuse.
At least 40 percent of those cases had to do with prescription drugs and many involved more than one type of prescription drug. Lawmakers, safety advocates, and the federal government are interested in ways to curb the opioid epidemic including many painkiller drugs that have a high risk of addiction and overdose.
The toll of the opioid crisis is far-reaching in the United States and continues to mount as more people succumb to addiction and overdose. More opioid lawsuits have been filed throughout 2017 in an effort to hold drug manufacturers responsible for the epidemic.
If you believe you have grounds to pursue a case based on opioid prescriptions, consult with the attorneys at McDonald Worley.