One in Four Potential Addicts –
July 27, 2018 A quarter of the adults who went to hospital emergency departments with sprained ankles were prescribed opioid painkillers, a new study shows, in another sign of how commonly physicians turn to narcotics even for minor injuries. The state-by-state review revealed wide variation in the use of opioids for the sprains, from 40 percent in Arkansas to 2.8 percent in North Dakota. All but one of the nine states that recorded above-average opioid prescribing are in the South or Southwest. None are in the parts of Appalachia or New England that have been hit hardest by the opioid epidemic. The analysis of 30,832 private insurance claims from 2011 to 2015 revealed that emergency department prescriptions can influence long-term opioid use. The median prescription was 15 tablets, or three days’ worth of hydrocodone, oxycodone, tramadol or other narcotics.