Giving Compass' Take:

• Research shows that patients who had been prescribed opioids were three times as likely to die of an overdose. 

• How can funders work to reduce overdose deaths? 

• Learn about the role of philanthropy in addressing the opioid crisis

Patients coming off opioids for pain were three times more likely to die of an overdose in the years that followed, research shows.

“We are worried by these results, because they suggest that the policy recommendations intended to make opioid prescribing safer are not working as intended,” says lead author Jocelyn James, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “We have to make sure we develop systems to protect patients.”

Physicians had already begun to reduce opioid prescribing by 2016, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its first guideline on opioid prescribing. That trend accelerated after 2016.

While reduced prescribing may well be intended to improve patient safety, little is known about the real-world benefits or risks of this sea change in opioid prescribing.

Read the full article about opioids and overdose death by Bobbi Nodell at Futurity.