Policymakers need to look beyond just the recreational abuse of opioids in their efforts to reduce overdose deaths, and focus more on the problem of doctors who are overprescribing opioids as painkillers, said researchers at Brandeis University, the University of North Florida, and Johns Hopkins University.
There also needs to be greater access to opioid addiction treatments, the researchers concluded.
In a new comprehensive study, scientists demonstrated that since 2002, new cases of non-medical abuse have gone down, and yet painkiller overdose deaths have soared. This is evidence, they say, that recreational use of painkillers is not a key driver of crisis.
This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor
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