Thursday, June 25, 2015
Doctors misunderstand opiate drugs
Johns Hopkins researchers, writing in the June 23 issue of Clinical J of Pain, found that nearly half of the internists, family practitioners, and general practitioners surveyed thought abuse-deterrent pills, such as those that supposedly can't be crushed, snorted or injected--are less addictive than the old stand-bys.
Not true--equally addictive.
The lead researcher said the danger is that doctors will think, well, this is solved, the patient cannot abuse this--but patients still can.
The study also showed a third of doctors surveyed thought the abuse came from taking the drugs in ways other than swallowing them. Nope--ingestion is still the preferred way. Some meds are more likely to be snorted or ingested, but those are still secondary methods.
Prescription drug overdose deaths have tripled since 1990.
More people die unintentionally of them than die unintentionally of auto accidents.
The survey also showed that physicians supported requirements that patients get all prescriptions filled at one pharmacy--cutting down on the doctor shopping and going from store to store.
They also liked "contracts," where patients agree in writing to properly use their meds and not sell them to others.
More than half wanted periodic urine testing to make sure the patients were using the meds and not selling them.
The researchers added, though, that they were not sure how many physicians really meant this stuff--such controls would be troublesome for them to implement and expensive.
I know people who had those "contracts" and went right out and doctor shopped anyway.
I have chronic knee pain--I don't mean to sound cavalier about pain. I think we need better pain drugs with fewer addictive powers--maybe with different mechanisms.
In many cases, what we have creates another issue for people to deal with. Some people are really suffering year in and year out--we need more research!
I think there is a new class of drugs being touted as less addictive--but I also read most Medicare people will continue to get the stand-bys (think the syllable "oxy").