Monday, July 28, 2008

Deadly Overdose At Home - Especially alcohol and opioid painkillers

The biggest risk seems to be mixing alcohol and opioid painkillers (e.g., codeine, morphine). This reflects the growing use of these kinds of painkillers in the home. This Bloomberg article frames the situation nicely, "Drug, Alcohol Mix Increases Medication Error Deaths (Update1). " If you want the research publication information, read this abstract, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, "A Steep Increase in Domestic Fatal Medication Errors With Use of Alcohol and/or Street Drugs." Bottomline, "findings suggest that a shift in the location of medication consumption from clinical to domestic settings is linked to a steep increase in FMEs [fatal medication errors]. It may now be possible to reduce FMEs by focusing not only on clinical settings but also on domestic settings."

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