New Study Links Opioid Overdose With Dose Variability

by | Sep 23, 2019 | Opioid Treatment

How much do you know about opioid overdose prevention? Do you know someone close to you who is suffering from this? Here at Hope Centers of Central Florida, our team of experts is here to inform you of a new study that was done involving opioid overdoses. We have the results here and are here to show you! Our team specializes in Suboxone treatment.

What Was The Study?

As health care providers lower opioid doses for pain patients to minimize the risk of addiction; increase doses to manage worsening pain, or re-start dosing after a period of time without opioid pain relievers, patients could be getting confused about safe dose levels, putting them at risk for overdose. A new study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that high dose variability increases the odds for an opioid overdose independent of dose alone. Even among patients receiving low doses of opioids, dose variability increases the risk of overdose.

The study followed long-term opioid therapy patients enrolled in Kaiser Permanente Colorado, from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2017. The study matched 228 patients who had experienced an opioid overdose with 3,547 control patients who had not experienced an opioid overdose.

The Results on Opioid Overdose Prevention

Results suggested that more dose variability correlates with a more than three-fold increase in overdose risk. The authors suggested that patients in long-term opioid therapy are exposed to changes in dose for a variety of reasons, including worsened pain, practitioner-initiated tapers, changing physicians, missed appointments, poor adherence to urine toxicology screening, or travel. The periods of greatest risk could follow abrupt changes in dosage, such as resuming opioid use after a period with no pain reliever use, prompting patients to seek a dose that may heighten their risk for overdose. Alternatively, a dose reduction may cause patients to seek pharmaceutical opioids from other sources.

These findings suggest that practitioners should: seek to minimize dose variability when managing long-term opioid therapy; pursue careful dose monitoring; and exercise caution in designing and implementing policies to reduce opioid prescribing. Tapering patients off long-term opioid therapy may be beneficial if it ultimately leads to the discontinuation of opioid therapy, but it also may result in dose variability associated with an increased risk of overdose.

Call Us For Suboxone Treatment

We are the best drug treatment center for opioid overdose prevention! With our trusted and experienced clinical team and state-of-the-art treatment facility, we can help you get started on the road to lasting recovery. Let our team of caring professionals partner with you on your journey to recovery. Our trained professional’s ultimate goal is to get our patients on the track to the cure. Alcohol dependence is a disease that needs to be treated seriously. Hope Centers of Central Florida is the best Orlando treatment center that features the best outpatient alcohol treatment. Call or visit us today to schedule an appointment or ask us about our services. We are drug treatment centers specializing in suboxone treatment.

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