25% of Patients Prescribed Opioids End Up Using the Drugs Long Term

Nearly one-fourth of patients with an opioid prescription for use for chronic pain will end up using the drugs in the long term, according to the result of a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Nearly one-fourth of patients with an opioid prescription for use for chronic pain will end up using the drugs in the long term, according to the result of a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

The Mayo Clinic researchers randomly selected 293 patients who had a new prescription for opioids in 2009 and tracked patterns over the next 12 months. During the time studied, 515 new opioid prescriptions were written for the patients. The study found that 61 patients (21%) progressed from short-term to episodic use while 19 patients (6%) omoved to long-term use (lasting more than 4 months).

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