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Prescription Opioid Misuse Leads to Binge Drinking

by on Saturday, August 24th, 2019

Prescription Opioid Misuse Leads to Binge Drinking

People often misuse prescription opioids and binge drinking at the same time. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five deaths from opioid abuse has had alcohol involved. A new study has shown that the link between prescription opioid misuse can lead one to binge drink and how important it is to treat both addictions.

What Happened in the Study

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that from 2012-2014, more than 4.2 million Americans who are aged 12 and older have misused opioids. More than half have engaged in binge drinking with the binge drinkers twice as likely to misuse opioids. Based on these findings, this can change the way that family physicians screen and care for patients who come in for opioid abuse, alcoholism, or both. Data from 2012, 2013, and 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health public use files for more than 160,000 respondents on their use of alcohol and prescription opioids within the past 30 days. The researchers also compared opioid misuse and binge drinking rates based on socio and economic factors.

The Results of the Study

The researchers defined binge drinking as consuming four or five drinks at once for females and five and more drinks for males. Prescription opioid misuse is considered using an opioid without a prescription or only for the experience or sensation purpose. Prescription opioid misuse was common among males ages 18-34, with a family income less than $20,000, and without health insurance. Binge drinking was also common among males ages 18-34, Caucasian adults, and adults with some college experience. Almost two-thirds of binge drinkers who misused prescription opioids were ages 26 or older. 

Prescription opioid misuse was 3.5 times higher towards binge drinkers than nondrinkers and those who drank alcohol but did not binge drink. After adjusting age and sex factors, binge drinkers were 1.7 times more likely to misuse prescription opioids than nondrinkers. In those who reported one or two binge drinking moments during the past 30 days, the appearance of prescription opioid misuse was 2.4%. Those with 10 or more binge drinking episodes had a prevalence of 6.5%. This shows that prescription opioid misuse has increased with the frequency of binge drinking. Family physicians can do something. Screening patients for prescription opioid misuse and alcoholism as well as speaking of the dangers can make a difference in decreasing those statistics.

Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. In order to offer patients a more holistic view on healthy sexuality, Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-6585 as we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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