Opioids Increase Pneumonia Risk

drug rehab in greensboro NCOpioids are often prescribed as painkillers to patients who have acute or chronic pain. They've been used for years and are somewhat controversial. Many individuals end up getting addicted to these pills, as their tolerance builds up due to their continued used. However, physicians continue prescribing them as needed. We see it all the time at our center for drug rehab in Greensboro NC.

A new study has brought to light some startling information about opioids that might eventually deter physicians from prescribing so many of these medications.

40,000 patient records were studied from Kaiser Permanente Health Systems. Scientists who did the research found that those who used morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl and other opioids at least 100 days before being admitted to the hospital were at a higher risk for developing pneumonia during their hospital stay. In fact, the research showed that there was four times as great a risk for pneumonia in patients who had used opioids.

However, the type of pneumonia that is developed within the patients is a specific infection called hospital acquired pneumonia. HAP, as it often is referred to, has a high mortality rate. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) require hospitals to report each case. Those who are already seriously ill or have a compromised immune system, HIV, or elderly patients have an increased risk for mortality with HAP.

The situation could shed light on the dangers to those who use opioids regularly, even if they are prescribed. This type of medication is highly addictive and can be used recreationally in a dangerous way. Even those who have been prescribed the medicine and are taking it correctly are at risk for side effects and addiction. Understanding that excessive use of opioids could cause a life-threatening illness like HAP might keep users from abusing these drugs. If you need opiod drug rehab in Greensboro NC, call Legacy Freedom.

Lead author of this research, Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD, of Group Health states that “pneumonia is a common infection that can have serious consequences in older adults. Opioids and benzodiazepines work in different ways, but both can decrease the breathing rate. Both are also sedatives, which can increase the risk of aspiration."

Because of the decrease in respiration and increase of aspirating foreign objects into the lungs due to opioid use, HAP can develop quickly. Benzodiazepines do not seem to be linked to HAP at this time. Further research must be done to completely rule this out, however.

If you need help with an addict who's using drugs without worrying about the harmful repercussions, consider working with Legacy Freedom. We are here to help you and your loved ones work through substance abuse and onto recovery. A happy healthy life is important. Don't hesitate to contact us. Keep reading if you'd like to learn more about our programs for Greensboro drug rehab.

Dependable Drug Rehab in Greensboro NC at Legacy Freedom

If your loved one needs drug rehab, it's time to get them some quality help. While it’s easy for them to believe they are alone in this struggle with marijuana, that is simply not true. There are numerous people in the world dealing with addiction. Regardless of how bad drug or alcohol use has become, help is always available. Contact Legacy Freedom of Greensboro if you, or a loved one, need alternative, personalized outpatient therapy. We are here to help them get back on track to a healthier, happier life with affordable outpatient alcohol addiction treatment and drug rehab in Greensboro NC.

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