Small Molecule

Study Finds Opioid-Painkiller Cocktails Can Be Deadly

Dec 10, 2014

CBS News

According to a CBS news story, concerns have been growing for years about the number of people in the United States taking highly addictive opioid prescription painkillers. Now a new report highlights the number of people taking these drugs in dangerous combination with other medications.

The painkillers in question "include things like codeine, morphine, and brand names like Percocet and Vicodin," CBS News medical contributor Dr. Holly Phillips explained on "CBS This Morning." "These are the drugs behind our prescription drug abuse epidemic. Now more people die from overdose of these prescription drugs than from cocaine and heroin overdose combined."

About 1 in 3 people taking prescription painkillers were also on some type of anti-anxiety or muscle relaxant prescription, according to the report, "A Nation in Pain," which was produced by Express Scripts. The company says the data is based on analysis of 36 million pharmacy claims from 6.8 million insured Americans who received at least one opioid prescription between 2009 and 2013. Read the full story