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Papers of the Week

2021 Mar 03

Emerg Med J

We Need to Talk About Codeine: an Implementation Study to reduce the number of Emergency Department patients discharged on high-strength co-codamol using the Behaviour Change Wheel.


The crisis of prescription opioid addiction in the USA is well-documented. Though opioid consumption per capita is lower in the UK, prescribing has increased dramatically in recent decades with an associated increase in deaths from prescription opioid overdose. At one Scottish Emergency Department high rates of prescribing of take-home co-codamol (30/500 mg) were observed, including for conditions where opioids are not recommended by national guidelines. An Implementation Science approach was adopted to investigate this.