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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Researchers urge closer look at risks of opioids

More than half the people hospitalized for medical reasons are given highly addictive prescription painkillers, often in large doses, say Boston researchers who examined nonsurgical treatment at 286 hospitals throughout the United States.

The study, led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, did not determine whether patients received the drugs unnecessarily. But it found that in hospitals that prescribed the most opioids — medications such as morphine, fentanyl, or oxycodone — patients were more likely to overdose or suffer other errors related to the drugs.

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