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Opioid prescriptions plummet as doctors ditch strong drugs

Deborah Knight
Article image for Opioid prescriptions plummet as doctors ditch strong drugs

Doctors are prescribing strong drugs less for common discomforts, such as back pain, in favour of simple remedies that are found to be equally effective. 

Ibuprofen and a basic heat pack have been found to work easily in cases where opioids might otherwise have been prescribed.

University of Sydney Lead Researcher Dr Gustavo Machado said the findings were surprising.

“Lower back pain is the sixth most common reason for emergency department visits.

“But if opioids are used for a long time, or if they’re used incorrectly, they can be dangerous and can cause addiction, overdose and death.”

The study saw a strong uptake of heat packs, creating up to a 24 per cent drop of opioid use in hospitals.

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Image: Getty

Deborah Knight
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