White patients are more likely than Black patients to be given opioid medication for pain in US emergency departments

White people who visit hospital emergency departments with pain are 26% more likely than Black people to be given opioid pain medications such as morphine. Although white patients were far more likely to be prescribed opioid medication for their pain, we found no significant differences across race in either the type or severity of patients' pain. Furthermore, racial disparities in pain medication remained even after we adjusted for any differences in insurance status, patient age, census region or other potentially important factors.