Half of Americans Have Used Painkillers

A NPR-Thomson Reuters Health Poll found 49.7 percent of the U.S. population has used narcotic painkillers, according to an NPR report.

Of those reporting painkiller use, 88 percent used them for acute pain, 30.5 percent for chronic pain and 4.6 percent for cancer pain. More than three-quarters believed narcotic painkillers are linked to drug abuse and 59.5 percent associate painkillers with depression use.

More than one-third of respondents used painkillers despite having concerns. Top concerns included side effects, risk of addiction and potential long-term health impacts. But 30.8 percent said they questioned or refused a physician's recommendation of painkillers.

Related Articles on Prescription Painkillers:
Study: Opioids Not Effective Treatment for Sciatica
Drs. Seth Berkowitz and Mitchell Katz Call for More Research on Pharmacotherapy for Pain Management
Physicians Struggle to Treat Pain During Opioid Abuse Epidemic

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