Doctors fight uphill battle to curb opioid abuse

From the Journal:

Addiction to opioids, which are often used to treat pain and produce morphine-like effects and include medications like hydrocodone, oxycodone and Vicodin, is becoming more common. And as more patients abuse prescription drugs, the use of heroin has more than doubled among adults between ages 18 to 25, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC, some of the greatest increases occurred in demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use: women, the privately insured, and people with higher incomes. Prescription drugs kill more people than heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines combined.

“It’s a problem and it’s been a problem for years,” Dick said. “It’s the nature of the ease of access, 24/7, no one refused.”

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