After An Overdose, Patients Aren't Getting Treatments That Could Prevent The Next One

NPR

More than 115 Americans are dying every day from an opioid overdose. But a study out Monday finds that just three in 10 patients revived by an EMT or in an emergency room received the follow-up medication known to avoid another life-threatening event. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, followed 17,568 patients who overdosed on opioids between 2012 and 2014 in Massachusetts. It looked at survival rates over time and whether or not patients received medicines that treat addiction.

Of the patients who did receive medication, 17 percent took buprenorphine, known by the brand name Suboxone, for roughly four months. They had a 40 percent lower death rate after one year, as compared to those who did not take any medication. The results for the 11 percent of patients who took methadone were even stronger: They cut their death rate by 60 percent.

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