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Prescription Opioids, Overdose Deaths, and Physician Responsibility

Prescription Opioids, Overdose Deaths, and Physician Responsibility Editorials represent the opinions EDITORIAL of the authors and JAMA and not those of the American Medical Association. Prescription Opioids, Overdose Deaths, and Physician Responsibility who require long-term treatment with opioids with urine A. Thomas McLellan, PhD drug screens and opioid agreements. At present, primary care Barbara Turner, MD, MsEd physicians appear to be only rarely using these mecha- 4,7,8 nisms. HE STUDY OF OVERDOSE DEATHS IN WEST VIRGINIA Second, what does the study by Hall et al suggest about by Hall and colleagues in this issue of JAMA re- the role of addiction in overdose deaths and about physi- vealed that opioid analgesics contributed to 93% of cian responsibility for addiction? In this study 79% of the Tthose deaths and most of these potentially avoid- cases of overdose deaths also tested positive for alcohol and able deaths occurred in younger persons (aged 18-44 years). other drugs, suggesting that many to most of these indi- These disturbing findings are certain to raise questions about viduals were addicted. But 56% of decedents had no regis- physician prescribing practices, the safety and adverse effect tered prescription for an opioid and another 20% had mis- profiles of opioid medications, and the appropriate http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

Prescription Opioids, Overdose Deaths, and Physician Responsibility

JAMA , Volume 300 (22) – Dec 10, 2008

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright 2008 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.2008.793
pmid
19066389
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Editorials represent the opinions EDITORIAL of the authors and JAMA and not those of the American Medical Association. Prescription Opioids, Overdose Deaths, and Physician Responsibility who require long-term treatment with opioids with urine A. Thomas McLellan, PhD drug screens and opioid agreements. At present, primary care Barbara Turner, MD, MsEd physicians appear to be only rarely using these mecha- 4,7,8 nisms. HE STUDY OF OVERDOSE DEATHS IN WEST VIRGINIA Second, what does the study by Hall et al suggest about by Hall and colleagues in this issue of JAMA re- the role of addiction in overdose deaths and about physi- vealed that opioid analgesics contributed to 93% of cian responsibility for addiction? In this study 79% of the Tthose deaths and most of these potentially avoid- cases of overdose deaths also tested positive for alcohol and able deaths occurred in younger persons (aged 18-44 years). other drugs, suggesting that many to most of these indi- These disturbing findings are certain to raise questions about viduals were addicted. But 56% of decedents had no regis- physician prescribing practices, the safety and adverse effect tered prescription for an opioid and another 20% had mis- profiles of opioid medications, and the appropriate

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: Dec 10, 2008

References