Not Just Life and Death: Opioid Use Can Cause Dozens of Injuries

Not Just Life and Death: Opioid Use Can Cause Dozens of Injuries
Russell Baer/US Drug Enforcement Administration via AP

Many people assume that patients addicted to heroin or other opioids either survive a high or die — but that there's no real damage to those who get up and walk away. Most emergency room doctors will tell you that's not the case.

"I would say at least 75 percent, every three of four patients who comes in after an overdose has some sort of associated injury, whether it's a minor injury or major injury from that overdose," says Dr. Ali Raja, the vice chair of emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, the busiest emergency room in the Boston area.

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