An investigation of older, opioid-naïve patients who were given an opioid within 1 week of a short-stay surgery has found that this population appears to be frequently prescribed analgesics immediately after ambulatory surgery, a practice that appeared to be associated with long-term use. Patients who received an opioid prescription within 1 week were 44% more likely to become long-term opioid users within 1 year when compared with those not prescribed an opioid. Those who received an NSAID prescription within 1 week were nearly four times more likely to become long-term NSAID users when compared with those not prescribed these drugs.

Abstract: Archives of Internal Medicine, March 12, 2012.