Opioids are drugs that are administered in patients with chronic, post-surgical or oncological pain. Their continued use produces a physiological dependence that manifests itself with tolerance to the drug and a withdrawal syndrome if the drug is not taken.
In the last 20 years there has been a significant increase in the prescription of opioid analgesics worldwide, especially in the United States, where in 2015, opiates killed 33,000 people, more than double the number of homicide victims.
In Spain, according the data provided by Infonova, the non-hospital use of opioids reached 13.31 doses per thousand inhabitants, practically doubling the usage of seven years ago.
According to Joaquín Descals, psychiatrist and medical director of Triora Alicante "the typical patient is around 50 years old, with chronic pain due to disease, for which their doctor gives them opiate medication. As the drug is administered by the patient himself, there is a possibility of dose manipulation, increasing the dose prescribed by the doctor and running the risk of addiction. Fentanyl, one of the most frequently prescribed opiates, for example, presents a risk of addiction 5 to 10 times greater than heroin “.
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