Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Long-Term Opioid Use Uncommon among Trauma Patients

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Long-Term Opioid Use Uncommon among Trauma Patients

Article excerpt

ATTHEACS CLINICAL CONGRESS

WASHINGTON -- Patients with traumatic injuries don't appear to be at undue risk of sustained opioid use, a large database review has demonstrated.

More than half of the 13,000 patients in the study were discharged on opioids, but they were able to discontinue them fairly rapidly, Muhammad Chaudhary, MD, said at the annual clinical congress of the American College of Surgeons. Within 3 months, less than one-third were still using the drugs, and 1 year later, only 1% were still taking an opioid pain medication.

"We found that sustained opioid use was very uncommon among these patients with moderate to severe traumatic injuries," said Dr. Chaudhary of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. "Furthermore, we didn't find any association of opioid use with depression or anxiety."

Dr. Chaudhary examined opioid use among 13,624 patients included in the Tricare military insurance database. The patients were treated for traumatic injuries they received during 2007-2013. Most of the patients were men (82%), and the largest age group was 18- to 24-year-olds (39%). Military rank was used as a proxy for socioeconomic status in this study: 15% of the cohort had an officer rank, while the rest were junior or senior enlisted personnel.

The group was very healthy, with a median Charlson Comorbidity Index score of 0. They were somewhat seriously injured, however. The median Injury Severity Score was 13, and the range was 9-17. Anxiety and depression were uncommon (9% and 7%, respectively). …

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