Opioid Abuse Higher in Areas With More Dentists, Pharmacists

Having more healthcare personnel isn’t necessarily a good thing when it comes to opioid abuse.

A recent study by researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis indicated that access to healthcare raised the availability of prescription opioids, serving to increase the number of opioid abuse and consequences. The study found that the structure of local health care systems in a given county accounts for whether or not there is access to opioids.

The study was presented at the American Public Health Association annual meeting.

Prescription opioid abuse is a problem in the United States and continues to worsen. By 2009, retail pharmacies filled 256.9 million prescriptions, according to the Food and Drug Administration. This large number of prescriptions leaves open the possibility of abuse in some cases.

In Indiana, counties with larger rates of dentists and pharmacists result in higher opioid prescriptions. This particular study pinpointed Indiana because of the availability of detailed data of prescriptions drugs in the state.

The opioid prescribed most often is hydrocodone. It comprises slightly more than two-thirds of all opioid prescriptions.

Previous information on this topic showed that many abusers acquired their prescriptions from friends or relatives.

To curb the problem, it’s essential to provide the medication in methods that would thwart any possible misusage of opioids.



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