Opioids after low-pain surgery: study indicates higher risk of dependency

The prescribing of painkillers to seniors for relatively low-pain surgeries may lead to some becoming dependent on opioids such as codeine or oxycodone, a new study suggests.
Dr. Brian Warriner, head of the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics at UBC, called the study valuable and said he’s concerned by the results. Warriner said it is unclear to him why patients getting a number of the surgeries listed should be receiving narcotics post-operatively at all.
“I can’t imagine, for instance, that people having cataract surgery require narcotics,” he said. “This confirms that in people with really fairly minor surgical procedures, having relatively little pain, that we probably need to be much more careful in our use of these drugs.”

Canadian Press, Mon Mar 12 2012, By: Anne-Marie Tobin, Link to full text