Medical experts are warning that a growing number of Americans are choosing to undergo surgery with anesthesia.
According to a study released this week by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, more than half of all adults over the age of 18 said they’d had anesthesia at least once in their life.
More than 1.5 million Americans over age 18 reported having an episode of an acute, non-opioid-related condition in 2015.
The study, which examined data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, found that anesthesia accounted for roughly 5 percent of the total prescriptions written for the drugs used to treat opioid-related illnesses.
Anesthesia has been widely touted as a possible cure for opioid addiction.
But experts have been quick to point out that the drug is a potent opiate that has become so addictive that it can cause severe side effects, including withdrawal symptoms.
According, the number of adults who said they’ve had anesthesia in the last year rose to nearly 5.3 million, from 4.8 million in 2015, the study found.
That’s more than double the amount who had anesthesia between 2000 and 2015.
Anesthesiology is now the third-most popular type of surgery after colonoscopies and chest surgeries, the report found.
The study found that almost half of the people who had an episode in 2015 were older than 18, up from 35 percent in 2015 and 25 percent in 2000.
But it’s not just anesthesia that is leading to an uptick in the use of anesthesia.
According to the report, anesthesia use also rose sharply among men and women.
The median age of people who reported having anesthesia in 2015 was 46, up slightly from 45 in 2015 but still well below the 67.9-year-old median for the U-23 age group, the Johns Health survey found.
The increase in opioid use is also fueling a resurgence in anesthesiologists.
A recent study by the nonprofit group, Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that the number practicing anesthesiology rose from 5.7 percent of all practicing anesthetists in 2006 to more than 13 percent of those practicing in 2015 .
The increase is expected to continue to rise.
According the report , about a quarter of all anesthesiologist jobs require a bachelor’s degree, up 13 percent from 2014.
The number of residents who reported anesthesiological experience increased from 9 percent to 18 percent between 2006 and 2015, according to the study.More: