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Most who OD on opioids are able to get new prescriptions

More than 90 percent of people who survived a prescription opioid overdose were able to obtain another prescription for the very drugs that nearly killed them, according to a Boston Medical Center study of chronic pain treatment published Monday.

Amid nationwide alarm over soaring overdose deaths, the study in the Annals of Internal Medicine is believed to be the first to ask: What happens to those who survive?

The answer, in the view of lead author Marc R. Larochelle, is stunning.

“Ninety-one percent got another prescription for an opioid,” said Larochelle, an internal medicine physician. “It wasn’t because they went down the street and found a new doctor. Seventy percent got it from the doctor who had prescribed before the overdose.”