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Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2014 Nov;18(11):460. doi: 10.1007/s11916-014-0460-1.

Suicide by means of opioid overdose in patients with chronic pain.

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Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5B 2J1, Canada,


Deaths from prescription opioid use continue to rise in North America. The main focus to date has been developing strategies to prevent nonintentional (accidental) fatalities, which constitute the majority of opioid deaths across all jurisdictions. Often overlooked is the complex group of individuals whose cause of death was suicide by opioid overdose. Although most opioid prescribing tools focus on identifying risk factors for potential abuse, diversion, and propensity for opioid addiction, physicians who consider prescribing opioids should also screen and optimize chronic pain treatment for patients at risk for suicide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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