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NCSL legisbrief

Methadone and prescription drug overdose.


PMID 25556261

Abstract

(1) Methadone accounted for 2 percent of painkiller prescriptions and more than 30 percent of prescription painkiller deaths in 2009. (2) Data suggest that the rise in deaths from methadone overdose is not related to its use in treating drug abuse but, rather, to its use for pain management. (3) Preferred drug lists in most Medicaid programs identify methadone as a preferred drug for managing chronic pain, but most experts do no recommend it as a first choice.