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Self-medication with opioids on the rise


In the recent years, more and more people are self-medicating themselves with opioids and other prescription drugs to treat their medical conditions such as chronic pain. These patients likely get addicted to these drugs if they don’t give up these opioids, a recent study warns.


In US, nearly 87% of the people who were tested positive for illegal drug use or heavy alcoholism or prescription drugs abuse suffered from chronic, severe pain disorders.


Upon analyzing 25,000 patients who were screened positive for drug misuse or illegal drug use, 589 patients were tested positive for cocaine, heroin and other hard drugs with co-administration history of prescription drugs and alcohol.

By analyzing a pooled subgroup, roughly 51% were on one or more drugs to treat their physical pain as self-medication.


The authors concluded that counseling approaches to educate these patients about the adverse effects of drugs were failed to achieve the outcome.

The study results were published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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