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Parents not that worried about pain drugs

Jan. 26, 2013 at 4:30 PM   |   Comments

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Despite drug overdose deaths due to narcotic pain medicines is double heroin and cocaine deaths combined, U.S. parents show little concern, a survey says.

The University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health found overall, 35 percent of U.S. parents said they are very concerned about misuse of narcotic pain medicines by children and teens in their communities, but only 1-in-5 parents said they were very concerned about misuse of pain medicines in their own families.

Thirty-eight percent of black parents and 26 percent of Hispanic parents were more likely than the 13 percent of white parents to be very concerned about misuse of narcotic pain medicines in their own families.

Thirty-five percent of parents reported in the last five years, they had received at least one pain medicine prescription for their children and more than half of these prescriptions were for a narcotic pain medicine.

Two-thirds said they had received at least one pain medicine prescription for themselves or another adult in the household.

Almost half of the parents did not favor a requirement they return unused pain medicine to the doctor or pharmacy, while 41 percent favored a requiring a doctor's visit to obtain a refill on narcotic pain medicine.

"People who misuse narcotic pain medicine are often using drugs prescribed to themselves, a friend or a relative," Sarah J. Clark of the University of Michigan and associate director of the National Poll on Children's Health, said in a statement. "That 'safe' prescription may serve as a readily accessible supply of potentially lethal drugs for children or teens."

The survey of 1,304 parents with children ages 5-17 was conducted by GfK Custom Research for C.S. Mott Children's Hospital last September. It had a margin of error of 2 percentage points to 4 percentage points.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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