For a Change –
July 3, 2019 – But the drug czar’s office, with its misleading suggestion that being prescribed opioids leads to heroin addiction, tips the pendulum too far in the other direction. There are real-world consequences to using such faulty information. The Drug Enforcement Administration cited that 80 percent figure last year when it ordered steep decreases in the supply of prescription opioids, and it claimed in the Federal Register that patients got addicted “after first obtaining these drugs from their health care providers.”
“The 80% statistic is misleading and encourages faulty assumptions about the overdose crisis and medical care,” Pain News Network columnist Roger Chriss argued in a columnlast year. And now, a new study from researchers at Penn State University published in the Journal of Addictive Studies bolsters that claim. Concentrating on southwestern Pennsylvania, an area with high levels of addiction, the researchers conducted surveys and in-depth interviews with drug users to determine their drug-using histories. The sample size was small, with 125 people surveyed and 30 interviewed, but the results were illuminating.