Prescribing opioid painkillers for patients after minor surgery, such as varicose vein stripping, might contribute to abuse and addiction problems, according to a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine. The study of 391,139 people age 66 or older found that those who got a post-surgery opioid prescription were 44 times more likely than those who did not to be classified later as long-term opioid users. A commentary accompanying the paper advised doctors to try non-opioid pain relievers first after minor surgery.

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