Two new CDC studies suggest a type of prescription painkiller called opioids are more often inappropriately prescribed and used among Medicaid patients than among those with private insurance and that use of stronger opioid painkillers may be on the rise. The studies were published in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved and through CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
Why This is Important
Prescription opioid painkillers are used to treat pain from surgery, injury, and health conditions such as cancer. Inappropriate prescribing and use of these painkillers is linked to dangerous health outcomes such as abuse, overdose, and death.
What States and Organizations Can Do
- Use Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs
- Identify and stop health care providers who over-prescribe opioid painkillers
- Implement best practice prescribing guidelines
- Maximize the state's role as a public insurer
- Get the facts about Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States.
- Read about CDC’s Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Research & Activities.
Spread the Word
- New CDC studies: A type of painkiller called opioids are more often prescribed and may be inappropriately used among Medicaid patients than among those with private insurance and use of stronger painkillers may be on the rise. Use of these prescription painkillers can put patients at risk for dangerous health outcomes, such as abuse, overdose, and death. Learn more:http://www.cdc.gov/
- CDC study shows 40% of Medicaid patients may misuse Rx painkillers or are provided inappropriate prescriptions.
- CDC study: 4 out of 5 people who used Rx painkillers in 2011 to 2012 took painkillers = to or stronger than morphine http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/