CHA News Article

Study Shows Need for Better Access to Evidence-Based Pain Management

A new study from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows close to 92 million people (38 percent of American adults) used prescription opioids in 2015. According to the study, 11.5 million people misused the drugs, and 1.9 million reported an opioid use disorder. Based on data collected from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the study reports that pain relief is the most commonly cited reason for opioid misuse, and nearly half of those who misused opioids obtained them from a family member or friend. Researchers also noted that economic disadvantage and behavioral health problems may be associated with prescription opioid misuse, suggesting a need to improve access to evidence-based pain management and to decrease excessive prescribing that may leave unused opioids available for potential misuse.