A new study found that medical services for people with opioid dependence diagnoses skyrocketed more than 3,000 percent between 2007 and 2014. The findings illustrate that opioid addiction has become “mainstream,” even among the privately insured contained in this cohort. They found that much of the increase in opioid dependence occurred since 2011, when advocates were making progress in getting doctors to prescribe fewer opioids. The data showed that the primary diagnosis of opioid dependency kicks off a number of medical services, including office visits, lab tests and other related treatments. Further, the number of such services rendered to patients with a dependency diagnosis went from about 217,000 in 2007 to about 7 million in 2014, which surprised even veteran medical professionals.
Read more via Kaiser Health News here.