(American Academy of Family Physicians, June 18) Misuse of prescription opioids can occur for a variety of reasons, but one often overlooked risk factor is alcohol consumption. Even though previous research (www.cdc.gov) has indicated that about one in five deaths attributed to prescription opioid misuse also involved alcohol, the relationship between these behaviors hasn't been thoroughly examined -- until now.
A new study(www.ajpmonline.org) published online June 11 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that between 2012 and 2014, more than 4.2 million Americans ages 12 and older misused prescription opioids. More than half of those people also engaged in binge drinking, and binge drinkers were nearly twice as likely to misuse prescription opioids as nondrinkers. Read more.