Discussing opioid risks with patients reduces misuse

November 22, 2016

(HealthDay)—Discussing the risk of long-term opioid use disorder with patients is associated with reduced misuse of opioids, according to research published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Joachim O. Hero, M.P.H., from Harvard University in Boston, and colleagues used two population-representative surveys to assess the effects of a recent recommendation that physicians discuss the risk of long-term use disorder with patients when prescribing .

The researchers found that after adjustment for covariates, there was a 60 percent lower rate in self-reported saving of pills among respondents who reported talking to their physicians about the risks of prescription painkiller addiction (without adjustment, 67 percent).

"These findings suggest patient education efforts, as currently practiced in the United States, may have positive behavioral consequences that could lower the risks of abuse," the authors write. "Future research should test these associations under controlled settings."

Explore further: Canada needs national plan to combat opioid epidemic: study

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