In 2014, nearly 2 million Americans met the diagnostic criteria for a past-year prescription opioid use disorder, and at least 14,000 people died from a prescription opioid overdose. Read about the top drivers and risk factors.
Opioid use is now a significant problem for the pediatrician and the families served in pediatric practices. Whereas patients with a prior history of drug use, misuse, or suspicions of drug misuse have long been studied, monitored, screened, and treated for adverse outcomes, opioid-naïve patients with legitimate medical reasons for opioid prescriptions may represent a greater risk for opioid complications.
As problems with opioid use and abuse in the United States increasingly emerge to create what is being called a public health epidemic, clinicians are facing the great challenge of trying to provide optimal pain management for their patients while being mindful of the potential deleterious effects of the highly addictive opioids.
For Contemporary Pediatrics, Dr Bobby Lazzara explains key findings from a study published in Pediatrics. The study looked at whether children and adolescents who engage in nonmedical use of opioid medications are increasing their future risk of heroin use.