New Yale study on opioid treatment and guidelines for low back pain use

Emergency entrance at Hartford Hospital.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – For those dependent on opioids, being rushed to the hospital may just be a good thing, and not just because of the immediate treatment.

A new Yale study shows that emergency department visit can have a lasting impact.

The ED is usually the first stop for patients addicted to the narcotic pain drugs.

Researchers say those who get the medication in the ED to curb their cravings, are more likely to get treated for their addiction and lower their opioid use.

Also a factor, continued intervention from ED to primary care.

The study is a followup to an earlier one by the same researchers.

This time, they delved into how long the benefits would last if ED patients were treated with buprenorphine, commonly known as suboxone.

At the end of two months, those patients were more likely to be in formal addiction treatment and reduced opioid use, compared to other groups who did not get the medication.

You can read more about it in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Meantime, new recommendations to treating low back pain, with opioids at the bottom of the list.

The American College of Physicians says opioids should be the last option and only in those who have failed other treatments.

Instead, doctors and patients should first opt for non-drug therapies.

If needed, prescribing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as tramadol or duloxetine.

The ACP recommending physicians choose less harmful therapies and less costly especially for patients with pain, not as severe.

No surprise that the big concern here is that opioid use, increases the risk of addiction or accidental overdose.

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