Opium study raises questions about painkillers
Farmers harvest the opium sap from the poppy plant in Fayzabad, Badakhshan, Afghanistan.
April 17th, 2012
06:31 PM ET

Opium study raises questions about painkillers

About 20 million people are using the drug opium or one of its derivatives. A new study suggests new reasons for viewing this as problematic.

Research in the British Medical Journal finds strong connections between people using opium and conditions such as cancer, circulatory diseases and respiratory conditions.

"Long term recreational opioid use, even at relatively modest levels, causes important increases in death from multiple different causes," said study co-author Paul Brennan, head of the Section of Genetics at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France.

Why it matters

Although this study focused on opium for recreational purposes, the research also has significant implications for medicinal uses of opium-derived painkillers - such as morphine and codeine, Irfan Dhalla, assistant professor at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, wrote in an accompanying editorial.

Dhalla points out that a separate study in the United States on osteoarthritis patients found a nearly two-fold mortality increase among those who used opioids compared to those who took non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Other research supports the conclusion that there's a risk apart from the chance of accidental overdose.

These risks are still not entirely understood, and more research is needed to determine exactly what's going on here.

"For the management of chronic non-cancer pain, a better prescription may be caution," Dhalla writes.

The research 

The authors used information from more than 50,000 people in northeastern Iran, who enrolled in the study between January 2004 and June 2008. At the time they entered the study, participants' ages ranged from 40 to 75. Researchers recorded opium use and other factors, and followed most of these people until May 2011.

Researchers adjusted for variables such as poverty and cigarette smoking, which could have otherwise influenced the health outcomes of the participants. They still found an 86% increased likelihood of death from major causes among people who used opium.

The study's design - observing patient's outcomes but not randomly assigning them to use opium or not - cannot prove that opium causes the death risk.

But the authors were unable to find any alternative explanation. The effects were similar in men and women, in smokers and non-smokers, and in people who live in urban and rural communities. Taking opium orally and smoking it both carried similar risks.

Also, most users who participated in this study did not begin taking opium because of a pre-existing illness, Brennan said.

soundoff (980 Responses)
  1. Local Marketing Business

    There's certainly a lot to know about this subject. I really like all of the points you made.


    May 20, 2021 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. download Game Lpe88

    Hey! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site
    with us so I came to give it a look. I'm definitely loving the information. I'm book-marking and
    will be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and wonderful style and design.

    Here is my site: download Game Lpe88

    May 20, 2021 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Windows Riverside


    May 20, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Tires California

    Great post. I am facing some of these issues as well..


    May 20, 2021 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Gem lpe88

    Terrific post however , I was wondering if you could write
    a litte more on this topic? I'd be very thankful if you could
    elaborate a little bit further. Bless you!

    Also visit my web blog; Gem lpe88

    May 20, 2021 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Shirley Sauveur

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl authors and blogs


    May 20, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Repair California


    May 20, 2021 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. tires in orange county ca

    May I just say what a relief to discover somebody who actually knows what they're talking about on the web. You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people have to look at this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you aren't more popular given that you surely possess the gift.


    May 20, 2021 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV AC Los Angeles


    May 20, 2021 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. https://xe88sg.com

    I simply couldn't leave your site before suggesting that I
    actually enjoyed the usual info an individual provide to your visitors?
    Is going to be back steadily to check out new posts

    my homepage; id test untuk wm casino (https://xe88sg.com)

    May 20, 2021 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Sprinter Calliper Repair

    You should be a part of a contest for one of the best blogs on the net. I most certainly will highly recommend this site!


    May 20, 2021 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. https://918kiss-m.com/

    Hi, all the time i used to check webpage posts here early in the daylight, because i enjoy to learn more and more.

    Look at my blog club suncity online (https://918kiss-m.com/)

    May 20, 2021 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. rv parks orange county ca


    May 20, 2021 at 23:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 918kiss angpao

    Stunning story there. What happened after? Take care!

    Also visit my page – 918kiss angpao

    May 21, 2021 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. royal casino malaysia

    I pay a visit day-to-day a few blogs and information sites to read articles or
    reviews, but this website provides feature based writing.

    Feel free to surf to my web page – royal casino malaysia

    May 21, 2021 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. https://918kiss-m.com/aaa1188/

    Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you
    knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment
    form? I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

    Feel free to surf to my webpage i aaa1188 (https://918kiss-m.com/aaa1188/)

    May 21, 2021 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. wm casino website

    Thanks on your marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading
    it, you happen to be a great author. I will make certain to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back sometime soon. I want
    to encourage you to continue your great posts, have a nice

    Here is my web blog ... wm casino website

    May 21, 2021 at 04:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Mechanics Near Me


    May 21, 2021 at 07:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. game rollex11

    I don't even understand how I ended up here, but I thought this put up was great.
    I do not recognize who you are but certainly you're going to a well-known blogger for those who are not already.

    Feel free to visit my webpage – game rollex11

    May 21, 2021 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. auto repair shop la palma

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the information!


    May 21, 2021 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. W88casino

    475220 340382When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any approach you will be able to remove me from that service? Thanks! 315363

    May 21, 2021 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. download game joker123 apk

    If some one wants expert view on the topic of blogging
    and site-building after that i recommend him/her to visit this webpage, Keep up the nice work.

    Check out my web site :: download game joker123 apk

    May 21, 2021 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. download slot game lionking888

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my website thus i came to “return the favor”.I'm trying to find things to improve my
    site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

    my page ... download slot game lionking888

    May 21, 2021 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV TV Near Me

    Good day! I simply would like to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you have got right here on this post. I will be returning to your website for more soon.


    May 21, 2021 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Toilets Near Me


    May 21, 2021 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Clarence Rousso

    I don't know about you guys but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/08/horizon-will-stop-flying-under-its-own-brand/


    May 21, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Video Marketing Consultant


    May 21, 2021 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. https://918kiss-m.com

    Hi all, here every one is sharing these experience,
    so it's fastidious to read this weblog, and I used to go to see this weblog all the time.

    My blog ... download slot game mega888, https://918kiss-m.com,

    May 21, 2021 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. game calibet download

    hello!,I like your writing very so much! percentage we be in contact extra about your post on AOL?
    I require a specialist in this space to solve my problem. Maybe that
    is you! Taking a look ahead to see you.

    Have a look at my web site – game calibet download

    May 21, 2021 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. test calibet

    whoah this blog is magnificent i like studying your posts.

    Stay up the great work! You recognize, many people are hunting around
    for this information, you could help them greatly.

    My web blog; test calibet

    May 21, 2021 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. test sky1388

    It's amazing in favor of me to have a website, which is beneficial in favor of my experience.
    thanks admin

    Feel free to visit my web blog test sky1388

    May 21, 2021 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. nearest rv store

    When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!


    May 21, 2021 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. mcd rv center

    Everyone loves it when people get together and share views. Great site, stick with it!


    May 21, 2021 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. truck shop orange county

    Your style is really unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this site.


    May 21, 2021 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. sofa upholstery repair near me

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am having issues with your RSS. I don’t know why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody having similar RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 22, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Internet Marketing Company Near Me


    May 22, 2021 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Nickolas

    Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

    my site ... sky1388 (Nickolas)

    May 22, 2021 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. rv inspection service near me


    May 22, 2021 at 03:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. wukong333 pc

    Hello, I check your blogs like every week. Your story-telling
    style is witty, keep up the good work!

    my web blog – wukong333 pc

    May 22, 2021 at 04:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Social Media Marketing Services

    This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Thanks a lot!


    May 22, 2021 at 05:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. vcm collision center


    May 22, 2021 at 06:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Restoration Los Angeles

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. There's no doubt that that you ought to write more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don't speak about such subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!


    May 22, 2021 at 06:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. King855 test

    Hi there, I read your new stuff regularly. Your writing style
    is awesome, keep it up!

    my site ... King855 test

    May 22, 2021 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. https://Xe88-my.Com

    It's really very complex in this active life to listen news on TV, therefore I only use internet for that reason, and obtain the most recent news.

    Here is my web-site – 918kaya ios download (https://Xe88-my.Com)

    May 22, 2021 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. bucket truck repair near me


    May 22, 2021 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 918kiss download link

    Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the web the simplest thing
    to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that
    they just do not know about. You managed to hit
    the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole
    thing without having side effect , people can take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

    My blog: 918kiss download link

    May 22, 2021 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. game ok388

    Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I also
    am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; many of us have created some nice procedures and we are looking to swap techniques with others, why
    not shoot me an email if interested.

    Also visit my web site – game ok388

    May 22, 2021 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. jpot Live22

    Post writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar with then you
    can write or else it is complex to write.

    My page; jpot Live22

    May 22, 2021 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. live22 online casino

    whoah this blog is fantastic i really like studying your posts.

    Keep up the good work! You realize, a lot of individuals are searching round for this information, you can aid them greatly.

    My web site :: live22 online casino

    May 22, 2021 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. ntc33apk

    Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I'm absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

    Also visit my blog post – ntc33apk

    May 22, 2021 at 16:28 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Leave a Reply to best restaurant Orlando


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.