Study: Only 35% of patients taking opioids are concerned about addiction risks

Despite living amid a well-documented national opioid epidemic, patients taking prescription opioids show little concern over addiction risks associated with the drugs, according to a recent NPR-Truven Health Analytics poll.

For the survey, researchers asked 3,000 people questions about their use of opioids and their concerns about the prescription narcotic painkillers. The survey was conducted in November 2016.

Here are four survey findings.

1. The number of people prescribed a narcotic painkiller, such as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin or morphine, has increased from 50 percent in 2011 to 57 percent in 2016.

2. A vast majority of respondents taking narcotic painkillers (74 percent) said they received the drugs for acute pain, according to the survey. Nineteen percent said the drugs were for chronic pain.

3. Of the respondents prescribed narcotic painkillers, 35 percent cited concerns regarding painkillers, the survey found. That compares to 46 percent of respondents who did not receive prescriptions. In 2011, only 29.6 percent of respondents who did not receive prescriptions cited concerns regarding painkillers.

4. Researchers said respondents' primary concern is fear of addiction (33 percent), followed by side effects (30 percent), long-term health impact (14 percent) and association with drug abuse (13 percent).

Read the full survey findings here.


More articles on opioids:
Heroin overdose deaths increase fourfold from 2010 to 2015
Minnesota lawmakers introduce 5 bills to combat opioid epidemic
15 states where drug overdose deaths increased most from 2014-2015

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