If you have a surgery, you are likely to wind up with more opioid painkillers than you need. And a new paper suggests this excess supply might contribute to abuse and misuse of these addictive drugs.

A review of six published studies in which patients reported they were prescribed opioids after surgery found most of them used none or only some of the pills, sometimes due to side effects. Significantly, more than 90 percent of the patients failed to dispose of their leftover medicines in recommended ways, according to the review published in JAMA Surgery.

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  • Ed, this debunks the myth that doctors “create” addiction. You’ve laid it out perfectly. Not that I condone overprescribing, but when the patient’s pain is relieved, and they have the CHOICE to return the opioids or destroy them, most choose to hang on to them although they don’t need them. This validates my long standing believe that your doctor didn’t make you an addict. By deliberately hording the meds YOU, THE ADDICT created the opportunity to become addicted. So let’s finally stop all of this blogging from your readers that shifts the blame away from the addicts and lays it us pharma folks, who one would believe lay awake at night conjuring ways to create new generations of drug addled ne’er-do-wells.


    As they say in the rehab biz, take your pick: jails, institutions, or death.

  • While the study finds 70-77 pct of participants did not lock up their Rx opioids, i find that extremely hard to believe. Does anyone you know have a locking medicine cabinet? I accept that there are a good number of unused prescriptions for pain out there but ‘out of reach’ is virtually all anyone I know ever does.

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