When one or more of these medications is an opioid such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, or tramadol, patients can be at increased risk for addiction, overdose, psychiatric issues, and breathing problems, says lead study author Mark Peterson, Ph.D., an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.
“Outside of acute pain management after surgery or pain management for cancer related pain, opioids are dangerous for these populations,” Dr. Peterson says
The numbers of individuals with physical disabilities and alcoholism remain high. The combination of emotional and physical frustrations can greatly contribute to lowered moods and a tendency to self-medicate with alcohol. Studies found that up to 50% of individuals with spinal injuries, orthopedic injuries, and traumatic brain injuries indulged in heavy drinking. The ease with which alcohol can be legally obtained greatly contributes to this problem.