Surgical Patients Receive Four Times the Opioids They Use, Study Shows

Surgeons have prescribed opioids at rate that's nearly four times what patients actually use, according to a new study.An analysis published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery found surgical patients used only about 27% of the opioid prescription written for them by a clinician. Those who received larger quantities of the pain medication ended up using more opioids. The study is one of the first to identify that the quantity of opioids prescribed, and not a patient's reported pain, was the strongest predictor of how much they consumed. Patients reported receiving an average of 30 pills per prescription but using an average of only nine.

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