One of the latest researches by a group of medics from the University of Pittsburgh MC led by Dr. Anita Courcoulas reported recently that many patients who went through weight-loss surgery continue using various painkillers prescribed to them for up to 7 years. One of the most troubling takeaways is that the epidemic of drug abuse is seemingly spreading.
The conductors of the study rally the scientific community to start searching new alternative painkilling methods that would remove the very need of using heavy opioids for pain management during the post-surgery period. This is the only way to slow down the spread of opioid abuse.
The study did not focus on the state only. The group of researchers monitored over 2 thousand people all over the country. The mots impactful findings are that less of 15% used to take prescribed opioids before the surgery. About 13% continued roughly 6 months after a surgery. However, over 20% of patients continued to use them 7 years after a surgery.
The researchers followed more than 2,000 patients nationwide. Of 14.7% of those who said they regularly used prescription opioids before surgery, six months after surgery the rate fell to about 13 percent, but it rose to 20.3 percent after seven years. This numbers were slightly lower in the group of patients who did not use Rx drugs before their surgeries. Roughly 6% continued to use opioids 6 months after a surgery and over 14% – after 7 years.
Leading the pack of most abused drugs were Vicodin (Hydrocodone), Oxycontin (Oxycodone), and Ultram (Tramadol), as well as their respective generics. The researches focused the attention of publicity on the fact that surgeries themselves help with obesity-induced pains, but do not free from the follow-up pains.
What is troubling is that the spread of usage of painkillers occurs gradually over the span of 7 years following the initial surgery. The phenomenon is reportedly explained by the initiation of usage in the first place. Scientists highlight that drugs that can invoke the development of addition should not be prescribed routinely.
The authors of the study claim that the nation is in danger of epidemic abuse of opioid