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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pain Killer Risk Factors

There are number of risk factors associated with narcotic pain killers that have caused some scientists to ask more questions. There are four common risk factors that Geisinger investigators found in patients that can be linked to having higher risk of addiction. According to the Geisinger study, common risk factors for painkiller addiction in patients with chronic pain are: age (65 years or younger), a history of drug abuse and depression, and use of psychiatric medications. Certainly, prescribing narcotics to someone with a history of drug and alcohol abuse is always risky; the chance for abuse is so much greater.

Statistics show that painkiller addiction is as high as one in four (26 percent) among those patients who were studied by Geisinger. There were 705 patients that were studied, DNA samples of the patients were collected as well.
"These findings suggest that patients with pre-existing risk factors are more likely to become addicted to painkillers, providing the foundation for further clinical evaluation," said Joseph Boscarino, an epidemiologist and senior investigator at Geisinger's Center for Health Research. "By assessing patients in chronic pain for these risk factors before prescribing painkillers, doctors will be better able to treat their patients' pain without the potential for future drug addiction." "Investigators also looked at patient demographics (age, sex, income and education), psychological factors, exposure to stress and childhood trauma, history of previous substance abuse, genetics and other potential risk factors".

Prescription drugs are abused more than any other drugs on the planet, it is imperative that caution is used in prescribing these drugs. The risk factors for opioid addiction are extremely high, people with no history of addiction or abuse can be become afflicted by narcotics. There are a number of drugs that work for pain management that do not contain opiates, these drugs should be used before even considering a narcotic if one has a history of addiction. What are your thoughts on addicts being prescribed narcotics, should they be prescribed to people with a history of abuse?

Source:

ANI

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