Doctors to Blame for Opioid Addiction?

(Russell Baer/U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration via AP)

A new study found that doctors across the country may be to blame for their patients opioid addiction.

FOX’s Alex Hein has “Housecall for Health”:

This is Housecall for Health.

In an emergency situation, you hardly have time to consider who to call, let alone which hospital to go to first. But an alarming new study suggests that choosing the wrong one may leave you with an opioid addiction that is hard to kick.

A national comparison of emergency room physicians uncovered a broad range of prescribing patterns for painkillers, and it suggests that high-volume prescribers may be encouraging long-term use of the pills among their elderly patients.

Doctors considered frequent prescribers were 300 percent more likely to give out prescriptions for painkillers than low-volume physicians in the same hospital, and those heavy-prescribers were more likely to give their patients prescriptions for longer periods.

Among elderly Medicare patients, opioid overdoses quadrupled between 1993 and 2012. Not only does excessive use lead to addiction, but it also increases the likelihood of fatal falls among this population.

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Housecall for Health, I’m Alex Hein, FOX News.

Follow Alex Hein on Twitter: @Ahlex3889