Reviewing the researchThis past month a new article was released online in the journal Addiction. Three researchers completed a review of the literature: Development of dependence following treatment with opioid analgesics for pain relief: a systematic review. This review was conducted by Silvia Minozzi, Laura Amato, and Marina Davoli from Department of Epidemiology, Lazio Regional Health Service, Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group, Rome, Italy.
Review methodsThe aim of this review was to assess the incidence or prevalence of opioid dependence syndrome in adults (with and without previous history of substance abuse) following treatment with opioid analgesics for pain relief.
- Reviewers examined 17 previous studies
- These studies included date from 88,325 participants
- Most studies included adult patients with chronic non-malignant pain
- Two studies included patients who were being treated for cancer
- One study included patients with a previous history of drug dependence
Other experts weigh in on the review's conclusionsAs we said the online Addiction article was published on October 18, 2012; therefore, now some addiction experts in the United States have had time to read the article and offer some of their own observations. For example, according to Reuters news:
- Addiction specialist Dr. Michael Fleming at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine: "If you're a person that doesn't have a history of addiction and doesn't have any major psychiatric problems, narcotics are relatively safe as long as your doctor doesn't give you too much and uses the right medication."
- Joseph Boscarino of the Geisinger Clinic in Danville, Pennsylvania, who studies pain and addiction offered: '"I think the jury's still out" on how worrisome prescription opioid addiction is.'