This surgery is connected to the highest risk of opioid addiction


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.

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