|By Kelly Young
People whose family members have opioid prescriptions face increased risk for opioid overdose themselves, according to a case-control study in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Using claims data from 2004 to 2015, researchers matched roughly 2300 people with opioid overdose to 9200 controls without overdose. Having a family member with a prior opioid prescription was associated with nearly triple the odds of overdose. Additionally, the overdose odds increased when more opioids were prescribed. Children aged 0 to 12 years had a fourfold increase in overdose risk when a family member had a prescription, but risk was increased across most age groups.
The authors conclude: “Interventions may focus on opioid dispensing limits, encouraging patients to properly dispose of prescription opioids after use, enhancing patient and public education, and using secure medication storage boxes to limit the risk of opioid overdose among other household family members. Treating and preventing opioid overdose events at the family level, as well as expanding access to opioid antagonists, should also be considered.”