'A new study from the University of Southern Califonia has uncovered a disturbing trend in the opioid distribution: While state legislature and hospitals have implemented more stringent measures in prescribing opioids, physicians’ offices have continued the practice, increasing the rate of prescription by more than four times.
The report, which was published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, also revealed that total opioid prescribing in the U.S. had shot up by 471 percent in the last decade — of which 83 percent were office-based prescriptions. The study also noted the dip in prescriptions from emergency departments (EDs): In 1996, 7.4 percent of total prescriptions were from EDs; however, this was reduced to 4.4 percent in 2012.
“One hypothesis has been that the emergency room is a recurrent site of care and that patients could be going from ER to ER to obtain multiple prescriptions to support their addiction,” lead author Dr. Sarah Axeen explained. “But our analysis shows that emergency rooms account for a very small share of all prescribed opioids. In fact, doctor’s offices are the source of many more of these drugs.”'
Read more: Didn’t they take an oath not to do harm? Opioids are coming from doctor’s offices, not the ER
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