Patients taking a class of drug known to increase the risk for overdose were likelier to receive a first-time opioid prescription than the general population, according to new research in JAMA Psychiatry from KL2 scholar John Mafi and colleagues. Patients taking a class of anti-anxiety medications called benzodiazepines received first-time opioid prescriptions at the rate of 172 per 1,000 in 2015 compared to a rate of 79 per 1,000 in 2015 for the general population. Although first-time prescriptions have dropped sharply since 2010, "opioid and benzodiazepone co-prescriptions remain very high and continue to place patients at heightened risk of opioid overdoes," Mafi said.

Further reading:

The publication in JAMA Psychiatry
The UCLA press release

Image caption: 

Image source: