FRIDAY, July 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The more pain they have, the more likely people are to become addicted to powerful prescription opioid painkillers, a new study suggests.

“In light of the national opioid abuse epidemic, these new results underscore the importance of developing effective … approaches to managing common painful medical conditions,” said senior author Dr. Mark Olfson. He is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

The study included results from a survey on alcohol and drug use. More than 34,000 Americans completed the survey.

The researchers found that people with moderate to severe pain had a 41 percent higher risk of opioid addiction than those with no pain.

That increased risk was independent of other factors such as age, gender, anxiety and mood disorders, and family history of drug, alcohol, and behavioral problems, the study showed.

“These findings indicate that adults who report moderate or more severe pain are at increased risk of becoming addicted to prescription opioids,” Olfson said in a university news release.

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