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Examining differences in prescription opioid use behaviors among US adults with and without disabilities

Preventive MedicineReif S, Lauer EA, Adams RS, et al. | August 03, 2021

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This study’s findings demonstrate essential opportunities for public health and policies to improve access, accommodations, and quality of health and behavioral health care for people with disabilities, and to encourage a holistic perspective of people with disabilities and their needs.

  • It was shown that individuals with disabilities were 11% more likely than adults without disabilities to report any past-year prescription opioid use, adjusted for sociodemographic, health, and behavioral health characteristics.

  • Nevertheless, the Likelihood of prescription opioid use disorder (OUD) did not vary by disability status among adults with any prescription opioid use, which is more common among people with disabilities.

  • It was shown that pain relief as the reason for the last misuse was correlated with an 18% elevated likelihood of prescription OUD if any use.

  • Accessible and inclusive chronic pain management services are essential to decrease the risk of opioid misuse among people with disabilities.

  • Moreover, accessible and inclusive services should be provided by the substance use treatment field, and be aware of the need for pain management by many people with disabilities, which may include the use of prescription opioids.

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