Some Doctors Concerned About Opioid Prescribing Practices

Sometimes an oft-repeated message ends up being tuned-out. Prescription drug abuse has been getting so much press that the warnings may be in danger of being ignored.

Yet, the fact is that more Americans die each year from drug overdoses than from automobile crashes, and more of those overdoses are opioids than from heroin and cocaine together. People are misusing prescription drugs and it is a public danger.

A recent article on Science Daily referenced an opinion piece which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). That piece, written by a physician, decried the current over-prescribing of opioids that is taking place in doctor’s offices across the country.

The article suggested that the ever-growing number of prescriptions written for pain management may be partly to blame for the greater number of deaths through drug overdose and almost certainly fuels the black market for prescription opioids.

The article discussed efforts on the part of health insurers to stem the tide of opioid prescriptions sought out by patients through limiting opioid orders to a single prescriber. This measure is intended to halt doctor shopping, but as the writer pointed out, there still remains a flood of legally prescribed drugs out in the public sector.

The doctor chidingly pointed out that it is too easy to write a prescription without first exploring other possible treatments. That practice, he says, is not best for the patient and certainly does nothing to help efforts to stop illegal opioid abuse.

The glut of opioids out there in American homes, in the medicine cabinet and on store shelves is problematic. It isn’t only leading to drug overdoses; it is also leading to more addiction and more crime. There are stats to show the clear connection.

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