Alcohol Involvement in Opioid Pain Reliever and Benzodiazepine Drug Abuse–Related Emergency Department Visits and Drug-Related Deaths

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC analyzed 2010 data for drug abuse–related ED visits in the United States and drug-related deaths that involved an opioid pain reliever (OPR) and alcohol or benzodiazepines and alcohol in 13 states. The analyses showed alcohol was involved in 18.5% of OPR and 27.2% of benzodiazepine drug abuse-related ED visits and 22.1% of OPR and 21.4% of benzodiazepine drug-related deaths. These findings indicate that alcohol plays a significant role in OPR and benzodiazepine abuse. Interventions to reduce the abuse of alcohol and these drugs alone and in combination are needed. Read more.