Study: Methadone common cause for painkiller deaths

A new study suggests that methadone is commonly a culprit in prescription opioid deaths--and that Medicaid enrollees could be at particular risk.

The study, which was released by the CDC, concluded that the number of U.S. poisoning deaths has almost doubled between 1999 and 2006, primarily due to deaths in which prescription opioids played a role. This increase in deaths parallels an almost four-fold increase in overall prescription opioid use during the same period.

Medicaid enrollees are especially likely to die from use of prescription opioids, the CDC concluded. For example, the Medicaid population in Washington made up 45.4 percent of the 1,668 people who died of prescription opioid-related overdoses.

To learn more about the study:
- read this CDC report

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