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Larissa Doucette

Overdoses and overall prevalence of opioid prescription painkillers has decreased since abuse-deterrent extended-release oxycodone hydrochloride was introduced and propoxyphene was withdrawn from the United States market, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicinehas found. The study, “Rates of Opioid Dispensing and Overdose After Introduction of Abuse-Deterrent Extended-Release Oxycodone and Withdrawal of Propoxyphene,” found that the total opioid dispensing rate decreased by 19% from the expected rate, and the estimated overdose rate attributed to prescription opioids decreased by 20%. The study also found that heroin overdoses increased by 23%, indicating the need for continued strategies to identify and treat opioid abuse and addiction, the authors note. Data for the study were compiled using claims from a large national health insurance company.