There’s A Reason UK Opioid Use Has Surged During The Pandemic

Opioid use increased dramatically during the pandemic as patients waited for surgeries such as hip and knee replacements, research shows.

The University of Aberdeen study found that the number of patients using opioids while awaiting surgery was up 40% from pre-pandemic levels.

Wait times for surgery were on average 90 days longer at the height of the pandemic, as hospitals focused on providing acute care.

Long-term use of opioids before surgery is associated with an increased risk of complications from the operation, poorer outcomes, and continued opioid dependence, the researchers said.

HuffPost UK has previously reported on the increase in opioid use in the UK, which includes drugs such as morphine and strong codeine, which are only available by prescription.

The number of opioid drugs prescribed to patients in England has steadily increased since 2010, and prescription numbers are higher in poorer areas than in wealthier areas.

Patients who developed prescription opioids explained how they got the drugs illegally when the prescriptions ran out. Man, prescribed codeine while recovering from a broken hand, lost his job, driver’s license and family, telling us opioid use “can ruin lives” .

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