In a new study recently released in the Journal of Medical Care researchers found that between 2007 and 2011, about 44 percent of people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits were prescribed narcotic painkillers each year. And the percentage using the drugs long-term rose from 21 percent in 2007 to 23 percent in 2011.
“The effectiveness is at best uncertain, and the risks are very real,” said researcher Ellen Meara, of the Dartmouth Institute for Policy and Clinical Practice in Lebanon, N.H.
“In the short term, people get some relief,” said Dr. Eric Collins, physician-in-chief at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn., which specializes in psychiatric and addiction treatment.
“But there’s no good evidence that long-term use is effective for non-cancer pain,” Collins said
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