A new study links traumatic brain injuries with an increased likelihood of opioid use and abuse. Published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, the study reveals that those “with TBI compared to those without had over 52 percent increased risk for using prescription opioids in the past year, and over 65 percent increased risk for prescription opioid misuse.”
The Link Between TBI and Opioid Use
Opioids are used to manage pain. After an accident, victims may be prescribed opioids to deal with their pain. In TBI victims, opioids can be useful in treating migraines, headaches, and other aches and pains associated with head trauma. It’s estimated that 70 to 80 percent of people with brain injuries leave inpatient rehabilitation with a prescription for opioids. While they’re no doubt useful in treating pain, opioids are also incredibly addictive.
After an accident, TBI victims are often eager to return to life as usual. When they find they can’t get back to work or enjoy their hobbies in the same way, many turn to opioids to ease their pain. Addiction often sneaks up on TBI victims who don’t realize the potentially crippling addiction that often accompanies regular opioid use.
Risk Factors for Opioid Abuse Among People with TBI
People with TBI are ten times more likely to die from accidental opioid overdose than the general population. One study on people with moderate to severe TBIs found that 90 percent of accidental overdose deaths were drug-related, and 67 percent of those deaths were associated with opioid use. Indeed, the problem isn’t just a matter of physical addiction – it’s often life and death.
Put Southern California TBI Attorneys to Work for You
A TBI can forever change the way a person lives and works. Even if they manage to overcome the initial trauma of their accident, those with TBI must contend with lifelong consequences like an increased risk of opioid addiction. If you live in Southern California and have suffered a TBI because of someone else’s negligence, put Joshua R. Kohanbash, Esq. and the entire Accident Defenders team to work for you. Give us a call today at 323.818.HURT or fill out our brief online form to learn more about how we can serve you.