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Racial Differences Found in Opioid Treatment for Pain

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A new study finds racial differences in opioid prescribing, monitoring and follow-up treatment practices. Black patients are less likely than white patients to have their pain levels documented, and to be referred to a pain specialist. They are more likely to be referred for substance abuse assessment after being prescribed opioids, MedicalXpress reports.

Among patients given at least one urine drug test, black patients were given more tests, especially if they were on higher opioid doses, the study found.

The study included data from 1,646 white and 253 black patients who filled opioid prescriptions for noncancer pain for more than 90 days. Black and white patients were equally likely to have a history of substance abuse, the article notes.

The findings appear in the journal Pain.

“The emerging picture is that black patients who are able to overcome the barriers to securing a prescription for opioid medications may still be subjected to differential monitoring and follow-up treatment practices that could impact the effectiveness of their pain management,” researcher Leslie R.M. Dr. Hausmann, PhD, of the VA Pittsbrugh Healthcare System, said in a news release.

1 Response to this article

  1. Hiawatha Bouldin / August 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Our dominant culture is still at it! We just can’t be equal can we? That would just kill so many of you! This campaign to keep this division is tearing this nation apart, just like it was happening in the 1860s. It’s a shame we don’t tell our youth about what was going on then. Our youth might stand up a make a change. Read: Medical Apartheid- Washington.. This is nothing new. Neither is the limiting of educating the people.

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