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Letters
June 20, 2012

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Opioid Use Among US Veterans

Author Affiliations
 

Letters Section Editor: Jody W. Zylke, MD, Senior Editor.

Author Affiliation: VA Cooperative Studies Program, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts (john.hermos@va.gov).

JAMA. 2012;307(23):2485-2486. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.6234

To the Editor: Dr Seal and colleagues1 demonstrated that veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who were receiving higher-dose opioid prescriptions were more likely to be receiving concurrent prescriptions for sedative-hypnotic medications, primarily benzodiazepines. The relative risk for concurrent use of opioid and sedative-hypnotic medications was high for veterans with PTSD diagnoses (adjusted RR, 5.46; 95% CI, 4.91-6.07) compared with those with no mental health diagnoses. The authors also found that receiving prescription opioids was associated with an increased risk of adverse clinical outcomes, especially among those with PTSD.

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