Opioid Misuse Common in Utah

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According to findings reported in the February 19 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, many residents of Utah who received prescription opioid painkillers did not dispose of leftovers against their physician’s advice. Among the 5,330 Utah citizens involved in the annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey of 2008, 20.8% reported being prescribed opioids; 72% of these reported they didn’t use all their medication, and among these only 25.2% reported properly disposing of the remaining pills. The editors of the article wrote, “Although the extent to which leftover medications contribute to overdose deaths is unknown, the 1.8% of respondents who reported using prescription opioids that had not been prescribed to them extrapolates to approximately 35,000 adults in Utah engaged in illegal and risky behavior.” Click here to read an article from The Salt Lake Tribune that discusses these findings more.

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