March 31, 2017

1 in 5 patients become long-term users of opioids after 10 days

We know all too well the dangers of opioid misuse in our society. The epidemic has been widely publicized, and the damage caused to communities across our country is staggering. This study puts into a frame of reference just how addictive these substances really are. The data shows that even a one-day supply leads 5% of the sample to use opioids for a year or longer. The probability skyrockets from there. Of the subjects given a 10-day prescription, 20% were shown to continue to use opioids for a year or longer. These numbers are are alarming.

Shah A, Hayes CJ, Martin BC. Characteristics of Initial Prescription Episodes and Likelihood of Long-Term Opioid Use — United States, 2006–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:265–269. DOI:

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