NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – ARIEL SCOTTI
Some people who become addicted to opioid pain relievers begin taking the drugs out of need after painful surgeries and over-prescribing doctors.
The combination of surgeries and the prescriptions for opioids handed out by doctors to their patients in 2016 led to a surplus of 3.3 billion unused pills — a likely factor in the current American opioid epidemic, according to a report released this week by the research firm QuintilesIMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
And some surgeries carry a bigger risk for eventual opioid addiction than others. Colectomy was the most dangerous with 18% of patients becoming long-term users, according to the report. A close second was the 17% of knee replacement patients who took the drugs. Hernia and hysterectomy surgeries showed to be lower-risk with about a 7% risk of misuse each. Women, overall, showed to be particularly vulnerable.