Opioid Prescriptions Patterns Amid Opioid Epidemic

Opioid Prescriptions Patterns Amid Opioid Epidemic

In an era when groups for supporting people with substance use disorder are at an all-time high: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Therapy, medication-assisted therapy, Telemedicine, In-patient treatment, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment options are all readily available for most people. Germany is the largest country in the European Union, and is usually on the cutting edge of science, technology, and advancement, A brand-new study out of Germany looked at the patterns in prescriptions writing by doctors in Germany that are most likely to lead people to seek the help of some kind at a later date for substance abuse issues, and the results are illuminating, As Germany surprisingly lags behind the pack in critical data in the fight against the ongoing worldwide opioid use epidemic,  The aim of this work was to review and summarize relevant published literature on the prevalence of opioid prescriptions in Germany to adequately inform health policy strategies. The opioid epidemic is a worldwide issue, and novel steps taken to better understand the crisis in Germany, or elsewhere, could lead to breakthroughs in the United States or around the world.

From the authors, “Our electronic search yielded 735 articles. Reviewing titles and abstracts yielded 19 relevant articles. Three authors examined each article’s full text more closely and determined that twelve papers should be included. Of the twelve identified studies-with publication dates ranging from 1985 to 2016-six were retrospective cross-sectional studies and six were retrospective repeated-measures cross-sectional studies. Sample sizes ranged from 92,842 to ≈ 11,000,000 participants. Data sources of included studies showed vast heterogeneity. The reviewed literature suggested an increase in the number of patients with opioid prescriptions and defined daily doses of opioids per recipient in Germany over time. The majority of opioid prescriptions were used for patients with non-cancer pain. Opioid use was more common in older people, women and in the north of Germany. Fentanyl was shown to be the most prescribed strong opioid in outpatient settings in Germany, despite not being the first-line choice for chronic pain conditions. All data published before 2000-but none of the more recent studies-suggested an insufficient treatment of pain using opioids.”

I want to draw your attention to one specific section of this paper’s main body. Despite fentanyl, and I quote, “not being the first-line choice for chronic pain conditions. All data published before 2000-but none of the more recent studies-suggested an insufficient treatment of pain using opioids.” If you are reading that the same way that I am it is quite scary. Drug companies seem to have already been engaged in pushing doctors, and therefore, patients the most powerful pain relievers on the market, not to mention the most addictive by far. Fentanyl is quickly replacing heroin as the street-level drug of choice because it is cheap to manufacture and it gets people much higher than fentanyl at an even lower dose. If you or a loved one has fallen victim to street level fentanyl, heroin, or whatever people are calling it, you or you’re loved on is in dire need of help. The programs page on this website has more information about the best drug rehabs in Florida and the best drug detox units anywhere in the world. In Germany, fentanyl is not classified as a first-choice drug for the use of chronic or severe pain. But despite that important classification, a huge portion of the population that is forced to use pain killers for chronic and acute pain is still using Fentanyl from the year 2016 and since, for whatever reason. 

In German, but even more so in the United States, which has the much greater opioid epidemic currently going on, Fentanyl must be used as a last of defense against the pains associated with things like Cancer. There is even more true on the east coast and southern border states, including Florida, which the most fentanyl overdoses per year by capita.

By T.A. Cannon (Contact me at TACannonWriting@gmail.com)



Rosner B, Neicun J, Yang JC, Roman-Urrestarazu A. Opioid prescription patterns in Germany and the global opioid epidemic: Systematic review of available evidence. PloS one. 2019;14(8):e0221153. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0221153