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Oxycontin Abusers Often Rely on 'Leftover' Meds From Friends
Date:2/18/2010

are not aware of the risks of these medications," he noted.

"The net effect is that more opioid medications are available, and perhaps one consequence of this is that more individuals are getting into trouble with opioid medications," he said.

The Utah report encourages physicians to only use opioids when clearly indicated, not to prescribe excessive quantities, to avoid long-acting opioids such as Oxycontin unless needed, and to encourage patients to discard leftover medication, Garbutt said.

"The report is more evidence of the increasing problem of opioid misuse in the United States. This problem is costing lives, including the lives of young healthy people," he said. "Education of both physicians and the public is needed."

More information

For more information on how to dispose of medications, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.



SOURCES: Erin Johnson, M.P.H., Pain Medication Management & Education Program Project Coordinator, Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City; James Garbutt, M.D., professor, psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Feb. 19, 2010, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report


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