WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Americans continue to look at the medicine cabinet for pain relief, and 1 in 10 uses some form of prescription pain reliever, according to a new US government report. USA
But the use of prescription opioid pain relievers stabilized between 2015 and 2018, while prescriptions for non-opioid pain relievers increased, according to the report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. USA
This survey and other research shows that pain management is becoming safer, said Dr. Ajay Wasan, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.
“It is becoming less dependent on opioids, and doctors are prescribing much more responsibly,” said Wasan, who is co-director of the Center for Innovation in Pain Care at the University of Pittsburgh.
Between 2015 and 2018, almost 11% of American adults age 20 and older used at least one prescription opioid like oxycodone or a non-opioid like Celebrex, the researchers found.
Breaking that down, they found that almost 6% of American adults used one or more prescription opioid pain relievers, while 5% used non-opioid prescription pain relievers to ease their aches and pains.
“Doctors should first look at non-opioid drugs to control pain, and then if non-opioid drugs don’t work, think about opioids,” said researcher Dr. Qiuping Gu, an epidemiologist at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). from the CDC.
For the study, Gu and colleagues used data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. USA
- More women than men used prescription opioids in the past 30 days, and use increased with age.
- The use of any prescription pain medication was higher among whites (almost 12%), compared to blacks (about 10%) and Hispanics (8.5%). Use was lower among Asians (4.5%).
- Between 2009 and 2010 and between 2017 and 2018, there were no significant changes in the use of prescription opioids, while the use of non-prescription opioids increased.
Despite the leveling out of prescription opioids, which is good news given the nation’s addiction epidemic, their use remains a concern.
“When you consider that between 21% and 29% of patients who were prescribed opioids for chronic pain can abuse them, and 8% to 12% of these patients can develop a consumption disorder of opioids, survey data shows that more than 1 in 20 American adults use opioids because pain is still problematic, “said Dr. Yili Huang, director of the Pain Management Center at Northwell Health Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow , NY