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Prescription PainKillers

Risk factors for opioid overdose

August 23, 2021

There are a number of risk factors for opioid overdose. These include:

  • having an opioid use disorder;
  • taking opioids by injection;
  • resumption of opioid use after an extended period of
    abstinence (e.g. following detoxification, release from
    incarceration, cessation of treatment);
  • using prescription opioids without medical supervision;
  • high prescribed dosage of opioids (more than 100 mg of
    morphine or equivalent daily).
  • using opioids in combination with alcohol and/or other
    substances or medicines that suppress respiratory function such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, anesthetics or some pain medications; and
  • having concurrent medical conditions such as HIV, liver or
    lung diseases or mental health conditions.

Males, people of older age, and people with low socio-economic status are at higher risk of opioid overdose than women, people of young age groups, and people with higher socioeconomic status. Knowing the risk factors for overdose can help prevent it in yourself or someone you love. If you are in need of addiction treatment services, the experts at South Hills Recovery Project can help you.

Dr. Clark
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