Opioid overdose survivors face higher death risks in year after OD
The New York Daily News - 6/20/2018
June 20--Adults who survive an opioid overdose face heightened risks of dying in the year following an OD.
Not just from a subsequent OD, but from a wide range of diseases, mental health and medical conditions associated with substance use, according to a study out Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.
"People tend to think of people who survive an OD as just needing addiction treatment," researcher Mark Olfson, M.D., a psychiatry professor at Columbia University in New York, told the Daily News. "There hasn't been appreciation of the other medical vulnerabilities."
The study is designed to give sharper focus to the broader health care needs after an OD, he added.
Investigators looked at 76,325 Medicaid beneficiaries who experienced nonfatal opioid ODs. There were 5,194 deaths in the first year after the nonfatal OD.
Of these casualties, the most common causes of death for adults were substance use-associated diseases, diseases of the circulatory system and cancer.
In the year following nonfatal opioid overdose, patients died at about 24 times the rate of the general population.
Compared to the population at large, opioid OD survivors were found to be 130 times more likely to die of a drug-use related cause, 40 times more apt to die of chronic respiratory diseases and 25 times more likely to die of suicide. Women who survived an opioid overdose were nearly 50 times more likely to die of suicide.
Researchers acknowledged that a limitation of the study is the use of data from 2001-2007. Opioid use has increased dramatically since then. Treatment has also changed.
But the study findings underscore the importance of closing coordinating the substance use, mental health and medical care of this patient population.
"We've had trouble integrating these systems," said Olfson.
(c)2018 New York Daily News
Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.